Terrorist attack on the French military base in Gao, Mali. A French military was killed in a mortar fire, the Elysée Palace announced on Sunday. In Sunday’s communiqué of the Elysée Palace, the French President’s condolences were conveyed to the family of the killed brigadier, stressing at the same time that France would continue its mission.
The attack took place on Saturday evening – writes AFP. A military base where, in addition to soldiers from France military from the G5 Sahel group are also stationed – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, as well as military advisers from Great Britain, Canada and Estonia, were fired upon by mortars.
The 53rd victim of the Barhane mission
Brigadier Alexandre Martin is the 53rd French military to have lost his life in a French military operation in Mali since 2013 called Barhane – from the Barchan crescent sand dune in the Sahel. Its goal is to fight the Nusrat al-Islam group and the structures of Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb.
In Sunday’s communiqué of the Elysée Palace, the French President’s condolences were conveyed to the family of the killed brigadier, stressing at the same time that France would continue its mission.
“As recently as Tuesday,” AFP writes, “four French military personnel were injured due to the explosion of a car-trap. Throughout 2021, three French military were killed in the fight against jihadists, and one was killed in a car accident.”
French in Mali
The French operation in Mali, which since 2014 has been extended to the entire sub-Saharan area, has recently entered a critical phase, due to the takeover of government in Mali by rebel military and their employment of mercenaries from the Russian Wagner Group.
“France will have to find its own way in terms of the format and objectives of the military mission in Mali,” said French Defense Minister Florence Parly.
5,100 French soldiers are participating in the French operation. France is the only Western country that conducts such large-scale military operations against Islamist fighters in the western part of the Sahel, which covers the southern fringes of the Sahara.
Main photo source: SEB CROZIER / EPA / PAP