Bomb kills two French soldiers in Mali

WION Web Team
Paris, France Published: Jan 03, 2021, 08:53 AM(IST)

French soldiers in Mali Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Less than a week ago three French soldiers were killed in Mali also by an improvised explosive device during a mission in the southern region of Hombori.

Two French soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in northeastern Mali on Saturday.

President Emmanuel Macron "learnt with great sadness" of the deaths of Sergeant Yvonne Huynh and Brigadier Loic Risser in the Menaka region, his office said in a statement.

He affirmed France's determination to continue its role in "the battle against terrorism" after the attack.

Huynh, aged 33, was the first female soldier killed in the Sahel region since the French operation began.

Another soldier was wounded in the blast but their life is not in danger.

Notably, a total of 50 French soldiers have been killed since France first intervened in 2013 to help drive back jihadist forces in Mali.

Less than a week ago three French soldiers were killed in Mali also by an improvised explosive device during a mission in the southern region of Hombori.

Al Qaeda's North Africa wing has said it was responsible for that attack, jihadist monitoring organisation SITE Intel reported on Saturday.

SITE Intel said on Twitter Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), which has repeatedly attacked soldiers and civilians in Mali and neighbouring Burkina Faso, had said it was responsible for the attack.

The soldiers in both cases were part of France’s Barkhane military operations in Mali against Islamic fighters.

France's Barkhane force numbers 5,100 troops spread across the arid Sahel region and has been fighting jihadist groups alongside soldiers from Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, who together make up the G5 Sahel group.

The group, the main jihadist alliance in the Sahel, cited a string of reasons for Saturday's attack including the continuing French military presence in the region, cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by a French newspaper and Macron's defence of them in the name of freedom of expression.

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