Three French soldiers killed by explosive device in Mali operation
Three French soldiers were killed Monday in Mali when their armoured vehicle struck an explosive device in the Hombori region in the centre of the poor Sahel state, the Élysée Palace said.
The deaths brought to 47 the number of French soldiers killed in Mali since France first intervened militarily in January 2013 to help drive back Islamist jihadists who had overrun parts of the West African country.
President Emmanuel Macron "salutes the memory of these soldiers with the greatest respect," the president's office said in a statement.
Profonde tristesse à l'annonce des décès du BCH Tanerii MAURI, du 1CL Dorian ISSAKHANIAN et du 1CL Quentin PAUCHET, engagés dans l’opération #Barkhane et morts au combat. Pensées émues de toute l’@armeedeterre pour leur famille, leurs proches et leurs camarades du #1RCH. pic.twitter.com/nA7kxCoOZq— Chef d'état-major de l'armée de Terre (@CEMAT_FR) December 28, 2020
He underscored "France's determination to continue the fight against terrorism," it said.
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.
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