Landmines Kill Three French Soldiers in Mali

Landmines Kill Three French Soldiers in Mali

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Landmines Kill Three French Soldiers in Mali

– One died on the spot, two others died from injuries

– French President expresses condolence

 Landmines Kill Three French Soldiers in Mali

A landmine in Mali has killed three French soldiers on an operation in the north of the country, the French presidency says. One soldier died immediately from the explosion on Tuesday while the others died later from their wounds.

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French U.N Soldiers in Mali

A convoy of vehicles had been heading north from Gao to Tessalit when the mine exploded under the lead vehicle. France has had troops in Mali since 2013 when it led an operation to oust jihadists who had seized the north.

On Tuesday, President Francois Hollande expressed his condolences on news of the first death, paying “deep respect for the sacrifice of this young soldier in the service of our country”. A further statement from presidency says he learnt of the death of the other two soldiers with great sadness.

All three, he said, had been part of Operation Barkhane that “aims to bring stability in the Sahel and the fight against terrorism”.

 Landmines Kill Three French Soldiers in Mali

According to BBC,  it was gathered that the it is a French-led operation against militant groups that began in 2014 and involves some 3,500 French soldiers deployed to five countries in the Sahel, the region of Africa that runs between the Sahara Desert and the Sudanian Savanna.

Northern Mali was overrun in 2012 by groups linked to Al-Qaeda who then threatened to march on the capital, Bamako.

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France’s intervention in 2013 successfully drove them from northern towns but the militants retreated to their desert hide-outs, regrouped and over the last year have launched high-profile attacks, targeting hotels in Mali and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

The UN is also trying to restore peace to northern Mali and currently has more than 11,700 UN peacekeepers in the country.

 Landmines Kill Three French Soldiers in Mali