A French soldier has been charged with child abuse over claims a video was discovered showing him touching young girls at a swimming pool in Burkina Faso.

Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for Paris prosecutors, on Saturday confirmed that the soldier had been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. A second suspect was freed without charge.

Two soldiers were repatriated on Wednesday and arrested on Thursday, days after they left a GoPro portable camera at the home of one of the alleged victims, which allegedly contained footage of the soldier abusing the girls, ages 3 and 5.

It is the second case of alleged sexual abuse of minors by French soldiers in Africa to surface in recent months after The Guardian was passed the internal report on the sexual exploitation of children by French soldiers in the Central African Republic.

There are about 220 French soldiers stationed in Burkina Faso as part of a French anti-terrorism operation covering five regional countries spanning from Mali to Chad.

The father of one of the alleged victims told Agence France-Presse his daughter met the two soldiers during an afternoon outing to the pool with the mother of the younger girl.

The two men were so charming – one of them particularly good with the children – that the mother invited them to her house for coffee, the French news agency reported.

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