Three French soldiers were killed by an explosive device in Mali, West Africa. The soldiers were in an armored vehicle when an improvised explosive charge exploded, said the Elysée Palace. Accordingly, they were part of an operation in the Hombori area.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences and pledged the nation’s recognition and solidarity. He paid tribute to the soldiers’ courage and recalled France’s determination to continue the fight against terrorism.
The former colonial power France is heavily represented in West Africa in action against Islamist militias; Mali is a focus. The “Barkhane” anti-terrorist operation includes around 5,100 soldiers. 47 soldiers have been killed since the French military operation began in Mali in 2013.
A number of armed groups are active in the states of the Sahel zone – an area that stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Some have sworn allegiance to the terrorist groups “Islamic State” (IS) or Al-Qaeda.
The Bundeswehr is involved in a UN and a training mission in Mali, but not in “Barkhane”.