REUTERS

In the Central African Republic, an incident was reported involving an armed convoy, where an IED blast killed at least five.

After two police vehicles drove over the roadside bomb, at least three Russians are reported to have been killed in the explosion, as well as two local policemen, Rosbalt reports referring to Radio Ndeke Luka.

Another five persons were injured in the incident, local outlets reported.

Read alsoPMC Wagner: Several Russian mercenaries killed by CAR rebels – mediaThree Russians were killed when their car was hit by a roadside bomb in the Central African Republic, an official spokesman for the country's government said.

The incident occurred in the village of Bandiba.

The report adds, citing RFI, that the Russians killed in the blast were members of a "paramilitary group" and part of the local military convoy hit by the explosion.

Russian military presence in CAR

Over the past few years, the Russian Federation has been strengthening its hybrid presence on the African continent. Mercenaries and military instructors have been deployed en masse, along with weapons and equipment supplies.

In 2019, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, General Thomas Waldhauser, said Russia's Wagner private military company has deployed in the Central African Republic a total of 175 "instructors", with some of them having access to the president's office.

The Bild magazine, citing a report by German intelligence, wrote that Putin was making Africa a priority as Russians are planning to build military bases in six regions.

Among countries set to host bases are Central African Republic, Madagascar, Eritrea, Mozambique, Egypt, and Sudan. In 2015, relevant agreements were signed in this regard.

Russia is already semi-officially training the African military. To this end, 180 instructors were sent to the CAR and other parts of Africa, and about 20 soldiers from Mali undergo annual training in Russia. In addition, Russians provide local dictators with manpower – mercenaries with the private military companies, including the notorious Wagner.