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French soldiers were killed in Mali on Saturday January 2 when an improvised explosive device (IED) hit their vehicle, President Emmanuel Macron’s office said.
In a statement, the French presidency said the blast occurred Saturday morning in Mali’s eastern Menaka region.
Sergeant Yvonne Huynh and Brigadier Loic Risser were reportedly killed during an intelligence mission in the area.
Roadside Bomb Kills Two French Soldiers in Mali: President Emmanuel Macron “learned with great sadness” of the deaths of Sergeant Yvonne Huynh and Brigadier Loic Risser in the Menaka region, his office said in a statement https://t.co/9w1XViCTqv pic.twitter.com/CCmYMer90l
— Jackson M’vunganyi (@UpfrontAfrica) January 3, 2021
According to Reuters, a third French soldier also sustained non-fatal injuries.
The deaths of Huynh and Risser have brought the number of French soldiers killed in the West African country to 50 since France first intervened in 2013 to push back al-Qaeda-associated armed groups.
It is also the second time that French soldiers have died in Mali last week.
On 29 December, three French soldiers were killed after their armored vehicle struck an IED in the Hombori region of Mali’s central Mopti province.
France has more than 5,000 troops spread across the arid Sahel and fights with armed groups alongside soldiers from Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, which together form the G5 Sahel.
But the lack of equipment, funds and training, coupled with problems of deployment and coordination on the ground, kept the group in trouble for its credibility and always relying on France, the group’s main political sponsor. .
Macron reiterated France’s determination to continue its role in the fight against terrorism following Saturday’s attack.