Three French soldiers died in Africa’s Sahel region where they were part of France’s Barkhane military operations in Mali. The armoured vehicle hit an IED in the Hombori area, Al Jazeera has learned.
The French soldiers were participating in a military operation as part of a larger mission aiming at fighting armed groups in Africa’s Sahel region, according to the official statement of Emmanuel Macron.
Commenting on the tragedy in Mali on Monday, France’s defence minister Florence Parly said the soldiers were working “in an area where terrorist groups are attacking civilians and threatening the regional stability”.
As of today, France has more than 5,000 troops deployed in West Africa, and Barkhane military operations are the most dangerous due to the non-stop activities of the Islamic jihadists.
Monday’s tragedy when three French soldiers killed in Mali due to the improvised explosive device (IED) blast brought to 47 the number of French soldiers died in Mali over seven years.
France first intervened militarily in January 2013 to help drive back fighters who had overrun parts of the West African country. The militias regrouped in the desert and now launch frequent attacks on the Malian army and its allies.