Six French soldiers injured in Mali

TEHRAN, Jan. 10 (MNA) – Six French soldiers from the Operation Barkhane force were injured in Mali during a suicide attack, the third on the French troops in the region since Dec. 29.

The soldiers were evacuated to a military hospital in Gao, and three seriously wounded soldiers will be flown to France for medical treatment, Anadolu reported.

French and Malian armed forces were patrolling early Friday in an armored fighting vehicle in the central region near Gourma, popularly known as the three border areas of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, when a vehicle approached at high speed, according to media reports, citing a French army statement.

As the military vehicle tried to intervene and block the passage of the approaching vehicle, the driver triggered a charge that led to an explosion.

Military analyst accounts on Twitter identified the vehicle as a tricycle motor taxi.

The attack comes in the backdrop of increased questioning about the usefulness of Operation Barkhane, currently in its ninth year.

Defense Minister Florence Parly recently revealed that the French government is reconsidering reducing its military presence in the Sahel region and the decision would likely be made at the joint summit of France and G5 Sahel countries in February in N'djamena.

The latest attack follows the French army confirmation of a strike against what it described as armed terror groups near the village of Bounti located in the Douentza region.

FA/PR

News Code 168334

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