Paris, 21 Jumadil Akhir 1434/30 April 2013 (MINA) – A member of the French special forces has been killed by a roadside bomb in Mali, Monday (29/4), the sixth Frenchman to die since the Jan. 11 start of France’s military campaign to rid the west African country’s north of al-Qaida-linked fighters, ABC News quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
A Defense Ministry statement says that two others traveling in the light vehicle were seriously wounded by the blast Monday.
The French president’s office issued a statement saying that the soldier — a commando from a parachute regiment — died in combat in the far north of the country, Press TV reports.
The ministry says the death of the 32-year-old corporal occurred between Tin Zaouaten and Boughessa during an operation aimed at securing the area by chasing fighters groups and destroying their logistics.
France launched a war in Mali on January 11, 2013 under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters in the country.
The approximately 4,000 French troops quickly chased the Islamic fighters from the northern cities and are trying to secure the vast area before exiting. France expects to have just 1,000 troops in Mali by year’s end.
On February 1, Amnesty International said “serious human rights breaches” — including the killing of children — were occurring in the French war in Mali.
Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg opposition movement in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.
However, in the wake of the coup d’état, the Tuareg group took control of the entire northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine group then pushed them aside and took control of the region, which is larger than France or Texas. (T/P09/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).