THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into war crimes committed in Mali since an armed uprising plunged the West African nation into chaos a year ago.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says "international crimes committed in Mali have deeply shocked the conscience of humanity."
Bensouda's announcement Wednesday comes some seven months after she launched a preliminary probe into allegations of crimes in Mali.
Her initial investigation suggests crimes including murder, rape, mutilation and summary executions have been committed.
The full-scale investigation will focus on northern Mali, where Islamist fighters seized a huge chunk of territory last April in chaos that followed a coup in Mali's normally stable capital.
French troops in Mali on Tuesday night began heading toward rebel strongholds in the north.