French Foreign legion soldier killed in action in Mali
A French army legionnaire was killed in a clash with terrorists in the Ménaka region, in north-eastern Mali, the Élysée Palace announced.
The french soldier is the second casualties among french forces in the region in less than a week.
Ménaka is a key strategic region bordering with Niger and Burkina Faso.
In recent weeks, the French army has multiplied the offensives in the Sahel. Operation Barkhane‘s deployment has recently increased from 4,500 to 5,100 soldiers. Paris hopes that this reinforcement will make it possible to reverse the balance of forces on the ground, where the jihadist groups have multiplied the attacks in recent months.
The 1st class legionnaire Kévin Clement was “killed in action”, during an operation against insurgent groups in Mali , announced the presidency of the Republic in the evening. Clément, 21, has been in Mali since February.
Clement belonged to the first foreign cavalry regiment of Carpaigne, in the south of France.
“The President of the Republic sends his sincere condolences to his family and his brothers in arms, of the foreign legion and the army, already bereaved by the death last Friday of Brigadier Martynyouk, of the same regiment”, adds the press release from the Élysée.
The general staff of the French armies specified that “its desert tactical sub-group, engaged in an action of zonal harassment and sweeping against the armed terrorist groups, has detected several enemies”.
To date, 43 French soldiers killed in the Sahel.
“This heavy tribute paid by the Foreign Legion does not undermine its determination or its effectiveness. It pursues its mission, like its Elders,” said Minister of the Armies Florence Parly. “Alongside their French, European and Sahelian brothers in arms, the fight against terrorism continues,” she added in a separate press release.