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Twitter trolls sought to sow Canada divisions on pipelines, migrants

AFP  |  Ottawa 

Canada's said Tuesday it found in a of messages evidence of possible foreign actors trying to divisions between Canadians on pipelines, migrants and other hot-button issues.

The (CBC) said it identified roughly 21,600 malicious tweets targeting Canadians, mostly sent in 2017, out of 9.6 million scanned.

The troll accounts -- which have since been deleted by -- are suspected of originating in Russia, and

They retweeted messages from Canadian activists, politicians and highlighting opposition to pipelines after approved construction of a conduit from Alberta's sands to refineries -- in an apparent attempt to whip up tensions between pipeline proponents and opponents.

They also stoked immigration fears, disseminating strong reactions to the mosque shooting and US Donald Trump's on Muslim countries, as a wave of asylum seekers showed up at Canada's southern border.

Scholar and expert told CBC that Iran, for example, has a strategic interest in seeing North American pipeline projects fail.

"The Iranians are trying to short-circuit American sanctions by selling their in To keep a certain advantage in and India, they might be trying to prevent from developing pipelines that could give the country better access to those markets," he explained.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 13 2019. 01:20 IST