Wagner Group leader in intensive care after being blown up by parcel bomb. Source: EXPRESS. Daily Briefing

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Wagner Group leader in intensive care after being blown up by parcel bomb

A senior executive in Russia’s Wagner Group has been seriously injured after being blown up by a parcel bomb in the Central African Republic.

By Tim McNulty

14:15, Fri, Dec 16, 2022 | UPDATED: 15:49, Fri, Dec 16, 2022

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Dmitri Sytyi is considered the mercenary company’s top civilian leader in the Central African Republic where Russia‘s Wagner has been present for a number of years. Sytyi was rushed to a hospital in the CAR capital Bangui following the blast on Friday.

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The pan-African weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique reports that the senior executive was the target of a parcel bomb attack at his office. 

Sytyi is said to have lived in Bangui for more than four years becoming an essential figure within the Wagner Group’s operation in the region.

Wagner continues to expand its influence in Africa with fighters now suspected to have a presence in Mali and Burkina Faso alongside CAR.

Though Mali and Burkina Faso reject the claim they are hosting the Russian mercenaries primarily to counter jihadi insurgents. 

READ MORE: Zelensky visits troops near frontline as missile attacks continue

Russian security contractor stands guard in the Central African Republic

Russian security contractor stands guard in the Central African Republic (Image: Getty)

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Wagner’s Prigozhin is a key ally of Putin (Image: Getty)

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Burkina Faso’s two coups — the first in January and another in September — brought Russia’s involvement in the West African country under scrutiny. Within hours of the second coup, the head of Russia’s shadowy mercenary outfit, the Wagner Group, was among the first to congratulate the new junta leader.

Protesters waving Russian flags attacked the French Embassy and the French Institute in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Many said they believed that Wagner mercenaries are better equipped to stop Burkina Faso’s jihadi violence than Western allies like France.

The pace of Islamic extremist violence is increasing in Burkina Faso and getting closer to the capital, Ouagadougou, which could make the desperate junta welcome support from the Russian mercenaries, said Laith Alkhouri, CEO of Intelonyx Intelligence Advisory.

Putin ‘confronted’ by head of Wagner group says official

“This could have significant negative implications for Burkina Faso and the region,” he said. 

“Wagner mercenaries have operated with impunity and they are unlikely to be held accountable for any human rights violations.”

Wagner Group mercenaries already have established footholds for Russia in at least half a dozen African countries.

The Wagner Group has been accused of committing human rights abuses in Mali.

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