SEGOU, Mali - Mali's army sealed off the central town of
Sevare to journalists on Wednesday following allegations by residents and human
rights groups that government soldiers had executed Tuaregs and Arabs accused of
collaborating with Islamist rebels.
The allegations, which have been
denied by the Malian army, threatened to cast a shadow over a French-led
operation to drive Islamist fighters allied to al Qaeda from northern
They also pointed to a risk the internationally backed military
campaign could trigger further racially motivated killings in Mali's desert
north, home to complex mix of ethnic groups.