A French soldier has been killed while on operations in northern Mali, the French government said Thursday.
The unidentified soldier, from the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, died overnight Thursday after being struck by an improvised explosive device, or IED, said France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
"He died for the freedom of Mali, the security of Mali, but also for liberty, the security of Europe and France," he told France’s BFM-TV and RMC Radio.
The death brings the total number of French soldiers killed in Mali to eight since France launched military operations in the country in January 2013 after Islamist fighters seized control of large swathes of Mali's north.
A statement from François Hollande’s office expressed the French President’s “deep sadness” over the soldier’s death.
“He sends his condolences to his family and loved ones, and assures them of the nation’s solidarity in these painful circumstances,” said the statement from the Élysée Palace.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-05-08