icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

2 French soldiers killed in Mali as armored vehicle hit by explosives

Two French soldiers were killed after their armored vehicle was hit by an explosive device in Mali, the French president's office said on Wednesday. France has deployed around 4,000 French troops in West Africa’s Sahel region as part of Operation Barkhane, which is aimed at tackling Islamist militants in the region. Scrubland in the region has been the scene of growing militant violence over the past year, some of which has been perpetrated by groups with links to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, Reuters said. French forces pushed back a northern Islamist insurgency in Mali in 2013. However, since then attacks have spread further south towards the capital, Bamako, despite the presence of a UN peacekeeping mission.