Two French soldiers killed in explosion in Mali

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dpa/GNA – Two French soldiers deployed to Mali to combat Islamist terrorism were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised bomb, the Elysee Palace said in a statement late on Saturday.

They had been conducting an intelligence mission in the region of Menaka in the east of the country, which is a former French colony.

A third soldier was also injured in the attack.
French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the deaths by expressing his condolences and offering the nation’s respect and solidarity.

He praised the soldiers for their bravery and reaffirmed France’s commitment to fighting terrorism.

The attack came less than a week after three French soldiers died in similar circumstances in the region of Hombori, near the border with Burkina Faso.

France has a huge military presence across West Africa; around 5,100 soldiers make up its anti-insurgent operation Barkhane in the restive Sahel region.

The area is home to several armed groups, several of which have sworn their allegiance to Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

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