Mali's justice minister has asked prosecutors at the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into crimes committed in the African nation this year.
The court's prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, says Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly handed her a letter Wednesday seeking an investigation "to determine whether one of more persons should be charged" in violence committed since the beginning of the year.
Mali has been mired in turbulence since a March coup overthrew the democratically elected president.
Bensouda says alleged crimes including killings, rapes and conscription of child soldiers have been reported "by several sources."
Mali's government says the country's courts cannot prosecute the crimes.
The prosecutor said earlier this month that destruction of Muslim shrines in the town of Timbuktu could be a war crime.