Thu, 26 May 2022

A French soldier has died in an attack on the Barkhane military camp in Gao, northern Mali, President Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement on Sunday.

Macron's office paid tribute to Brigadier Alexandre Martin, who was killed in a mortar attack on Saturday.

More than 4,000 French forces are stationed in the Sahel region of West Africa, most of them in Mali.

France, which first deployed troops in the West African country nine years ago to fight a jihadist insurgency, has spent around €880 million a year on a mission that has cost 53 French soldiers their lives.

French soldier killed in mortar attack in Mali

"Deep sadness at the news of the death in combat of Brigadier Alexandre Martin on January 22 in Gao, Mali. I salute his commitment," the French army's chief of general staff tweeted on Sunday.

Paris has started reducing its presence in Mali, hoping to halve the contingent by the summer of 2023, and has asked its European Union allies to provide more support.

It is now mulling an earlier exit amid rapidly deteriorating relations with the military junta that has ruled the country since a coup in August 2020.


Originally published on France24

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