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Malian soldiers accused of torture

TIMBUKTU, Mali — Three suspected jihadists arrested since the liberation of Timbuktu said Friday Malian soldiers were torturing them with a method like waterboarding.

The three are being held in an earthen cell in what remains of the military camp in town, which was freed this week by French and Malian troops after nearly 10 months under radical Islamist rule.

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President Francois Hollande of France prepared to fly to Mali on Saturday, nearly four weeks ­after the French-led operation began in the vast West African country.

The three suspects all acknowledged having been members of the Qaeda-linked group known as Ansar Dine, or Defenders of the Faith.

The allegations of torture came as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International ­released reports outlining other allegations of misconduct by the Malian military and ­Islamists over the last month.

Both groups said they had documented cases of Malian soldiers killing suspected Islamist supporters in Sevare.

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