Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Africa

French soldier killed in northern Mali, Hollande says

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-20

A paratrooper with the French Foreign Legion, Harold Vormezeele (pictured), has been killed in clashes in Mali, French President François Hollande said Tuesday. Twenty Islamists were also killed in an ongoing operation in the Ifoghas mountains.

A French soldier was killed on Tuesday in a clash with jihadists in northern Mali where the French are in the midst of a critical operation, President Francois Hollande announced.

A Defense Ministry statement said that nearly 20 extremists have also been killed in the ongoing fighting.

French Foreign Legionnaire Harold Vormezeele is the second French national killed since France, Mali’s onetime colonial ruler, launched a military intervention on January 11 to oust Islamist militants who had taken over the African country’s vast north. A helicopter pilot was killed on the first day of the mission.

The current operation, in the Ifoghas mountain region where Islamist extremists have taken refuge, is in its “last phase”, the French president said.

“At this moment we have special forces who are in the north of Mali and who are intervening in a zone that is particularly delicate, which is the Ifoghas mountain range, where terror groups are holed up,” he said, speaking on a brief visit to Greece on Tuesday.

“There was a serious clash with several deaths on the side of the terrorists, but also a death on the French side,” Hollande said, adding that the soldier killed came from a parachute regiment.

The French-led operation is aimed at preventing the extremists, who are inspired by sharia law and radical Islam, from taking over all of Mali and destabilising more of the West African region.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-02-19

  • MALI

    French air strikes rock Gao in wake of street battles

    Read more

  • MALI

    Malian troops battle Islamists in streets of Gao

    Read more

  • MALI

    Second suicide bomber strikes in Gao

    Read more

COMMENT(S)