On the AFP blog, Sanogo said that nothing seemed too out of the ordinary about the image at the time.

“It was evening. Rays of light filtered through the trees and the clouds were lifted by the helicopter. It was a pretty light. I saw the soldier wearing an odd bandana and I took the photo. At the moment I didn’t find it particularly extraordinary or shocking. The soldier wasn’t posing.”

Sanogo added: “I don’t know who the soldier is, and I would have trouble recognizing him if I saw him again. I believe, and I hope, that it will be impossible to identify him.”