(FILES) This file photo taken on February 17, 2012 shows French cement giant Lafarge CEO Bruno Lafont talking during a press conference to present the group's 2011 results in Paris. AFP / ERIC PIERMONT
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French cement group Lafarge paid close to $15.2 million to armed groups including Islamic State militants to keep operating in Syria from 2011-2015, human rights lawyers said Tuesday.The lawyers for rights group Sherpa said a large part of the money went directly or indirectly into the pockets of Islamic State and that payments lasted until well after the closure of Lafarge's Jalabiya plant in September 2014 .They were citing a figure pinpointed by prosecutors examining Lafarge's activities in Syria, in the throes of civil war since 2011, and drawn from an internal report by U.S. law firm Baker and McKenzie for Lafarge.Sherpa wants the company to be placed under formal criminal investigation, like Olsen, and also accuses Lafarge of not cooperating with authorities and trying to hide important elements from the investigation.
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