International Criminal Court prosecutor opens war crimes investigation in Mali

The Associated Press

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.