Mali: Two more French soldiers killed in IED explosion in Menaka

Two French soldiers killed in Mali: French presidency

Two French soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in north-eastern Mali on Saturday, just days after three others died in a similar fashion.

Islamic extremist rebels were forced from power in northern Mali after a 2013 French-led military operation.

France has 5,100 troops in the Sahel region which has been a front line in the war against Islamist militancy for nearly a decade.

Less than a week ago three French soldiers were killed in Mali also by an improvised explosive device during a mission in the southern region of Hombori.

Their death makes it 50 French soldiers that have died in Mali since the French intervened in 2013.

Both were members of a regiment specializing in intelligence work.

France has more than 5,000 troops deployed in West Africa to help fight extremist groups as part of Operation Barkhane.

Expressing "great sadness" after the latest blast, French president Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the courage of the victims and reaffirmed France's determination "in its fight against terrorism".

SITE Intel said on Twitter that Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM), which has repeatedly attacked soldiers and civilians in Mali and neighbouring Burkina Faso, had said it was responsible for the attack.

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