Two French soldiers were killed in an attack, the second of its kind in Mali within a week, while a group linked to Al Qaeda adopted a previous attack in which 3 French soldiers were killed.
The French presidency said in a statement that the two soldiers, Yvonne Hoyne and Loic Risser, were killed yesterday by an explosive device that targeted their vehicle during an intelligence operation in the region of Menaka (eastern Mali).
She added that a third soldier was injured in the attack, but his life was not in danger. In the same statement, President Emmanuel Macron affirmed his country’s determination to continue its war on “terrorism.”
The dead man was the first French military to die in the Sahel region since the start of Operation Serval in 2013, as part of the French military intervention that followed the control of armed groups described as jihadists over large areas in Mali.
The killing of the two soldiers in Menaca brings to 50 the number of French soldiers killed in the Sahel region since that year in the Serval and Barkhane operations, according to the French Chief of Staff.
In this context, the “Support for Islam and Muslims” group affiliated with Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for an IED attack in which 3 French soldiers were killed last Monday in the Mopti region (central Mali).
The website “SITE” – which monitors what are described as jihadist groups – reported claiming responsibility for the attack, and the same group had previously launched attacks on French forces.
The French presidency confirmed the killing of these soldiers, and said that they belonged to the Barkhane force.