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Ministry of Defence sends military emails meant for US Pentagon to Russia’s ally Mali in blunder

MILITARY emails meant for the Pentagon were sent to Russia’s ally Mali due to a typo.

Staff dropped an “i” from the US military’s “.mil” address which routed them to the West African nation.

Mali's military leader Colonel Assimi Goïta, who has twice seized power in a coup, and had welcomed Russia’s Wagner Group fighters to prop up his regime

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Mali’s military leader Colonel Assimi Goïta, who has twice seized power in a coup, and had welcomed Russia’s Wagner Group fighters to prop up his regimeCredit: Alamy
The emails were supposed to be sent to the Pentagon, but a simple typo saw them head to Russia's ally Mali

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The emails were supposed to be sent to the Pentagon, but a simple typo saw them head to Russia’s ally MaliCredit: AP

Mali’s domain name ends “.ml”. The Ministry of Defence confirmed that up to 20 messages were sent in error.

A spokesman said: “We have opened an investigation after a small number of emails were mistakenly forwarded to an incorrect email domain.”

He said the emails were “not classified at secret or above”.

The spokesman added: “We are confident they did not contain any information that could compromise operational security or technical data.” A defence source said MoD systems stop users sending secret information to unknown addresses.

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A similar blunder by US officials, meanwhile, saw thousands of emails go awry.

Mali was one of a handful of countries to attend President Vladimir Putin’s Russia-Africa 2023 summit this week.

Its military leader Colonel Assimi Goïta, who has twice seized power in a coup, had earlier welcomed Russia’s Wagner Group fighters to prop up his fragile regime.

In response, Britain withdrew its 250 troops who formed a long-range desert reconnaissance group for a UN peacekeeping mission.

They disrupted local terror gangs and were fired on by a Malian air force helicopter.

The rocket came dangerously close, it was said, but no one was hurt.

It came as Wagner stepped up its training of local forces.


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