VLADIMIR Putin's Wagner Group mercenaries have been accused of killing children and raping women in a war-torn African state.
The Russian paramilitary organisation allegedly executed men in mosques after Moscow sent hundreds of troops to the country to help battle armed rebels.
Russia has denied deploying regular servicemen but has admitted to sending more than 500 "military instructors" to the Central African Republic.
The group were said to have burst into the Al-Taqwa mosque in the town of Bambari, before launching their attack.
The mercenaries were alleged to have executed three young men inside the mosque and 15 others were killed during the attack – including kids and elderly people.
A woman, 20, said that several Russian mercenaries abducted and raped her in February.
“They tortured me like an animal,” she said.
Russian fighters are also accused of opening fire on a truck when it failed to stop in time at a checkpoint, killing three people and injuring over a dozen.
Radio France launched an investigation and spoke to eye witness and cited internal UN documents.
“They weren’t trying to figure out who was a rebel and who was a civilian. They wanted to kill people,” one eyewitness said.
Putin's Wagner group, made up of 200 fighters, who have been branded 'superhuman' are elite ex-Special Forces.
Last month they were forced to flee a Mozambique war zone, resulting in ISIS launching a vile beheading spree.
The group is believed to be controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian billionaire known as “Putin’s chef”.
“They weren’t trying to figure out who was a rebel and who was a civilian. They wanted to kill people
The UN said in March that the fighters were operating in the country and expressed concerns that they were guilty of "grave human rights abuses".
UN documents obtained by Radio France list at least 26 extrajudicial executions carried out by the group.
CAR troops as well as UN peacekeepers were also swept up in the killing sprees.
“Many civilians have been killed or injured although they are very far from legitimate military targets,” the UN said.
Russia has a deal with the CAR where it allows the country access to its deposits of gold, diamonds and uranium.
The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an average monthly income of under £50 after it gained independence from France in 1960.
Satellite pictures were released last month, showing how the secret soldiers have enough tanks to wipe out an army.
Declassified intelligence images show Putin's "private army" using Russian military equipment in Libya, The Telegraph reports.
The privately-funded Wagner Group is said to have between 5,000 and 10,000 soldiers spreading chaos around the world, complete with tanks and artillery.
The fresh images, which show Russian SA-22 air defence systems, IL-76 military cargo aircraft and mine-resistant armoured vehicles, are thought to have come from US spy satellites.
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