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Elysee Palace Reports Deaths of 2 More French Troops in Mali

Sputnik News

01:27 GMT 03.01.2021(updated 01:32 GMT 03.01.2021)

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Two French troops were killed and another sustained injuries during an operation in Mali after their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device on Saturday, the Elysee palace reported, less than a week after another three French servicemen died in a similar fashion.

According to the French president's office, the incident occurred in the eastern Menaka region. The injured serviceman is in good condition.

The announcement came hours after the US-based jihadist-activity SITE Intelligence Group reported on Saturday that Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), a branch of the al-Qaeda terror group* in Mali, had claimed responsibility for Monday's deadly attack on three French servicemen in the African country. The militant group also reportedly demanded the withdrawal of French forces from Mali.

In 2014, France launched Operation Barkhane to fight Islamist groups in the Sahel G5 countries; Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. Amid continued unrest in the region, France and 12 countries created the Takuba Task Force in March 2020 to provide further assistance to the Malian armed forces.

*Al-Qaeda - a terror group, banned in Russia and many other countries.

© Sputnik

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