The French presidency announced that two French soldiers were killed Saturday in Mali when an improvised explosive device hit their armored vehicle, five days after three others died in similar circumstances.
The soldiers were participating in an intelligence mission in the Menaka region of northeastern Mali, as part of a larger operation aiming at fighting Islamist extremists in Africa’s Sahel region.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “his great sadness” in a statement released late on Saturday. He reaffirmed France’s determination in its fight against terrorism and paid tribute to the courage of French soldiers.
France has more than 5,000 troops deployed in West Africa to help fight extremist groups as part of Operation Barkhane.