Moscow: Three Russian journalists killed in Central Africa last month as they reported on Russian mercenaries there were targeted in an ambush, a media organisation that was backing them said on Thursday.

The claim contradicts the version of events put forward by the Kremlin, which said initial evidence suggested the journalists were killed after resisting robbers. The men — reporter Orkhan Dzhemal, director Alexander Rastorguyev and cameraman Kirill Radchenko — were killed on July 30 shortly after arriving in the war-torn country to report on a private army known as Wagner Group. “The version of a simple theft as the criminals’ main motive is contradicted by many factors,” said the MBK media organisation, owned by exiled former oligarch and Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkov­sky. “The criminals were waiting…for the very car carrying Dzhemal, Rastorguyev and Radchenko,” the company statement said.

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