Elysee: French soldier killed during a military confrontation in Mali

On Friday, the French presidency announced the death of a French soldier in a military confrontation in Mali.

The presidency said the clash took place on Friday morning with an armed terrorist group.

Corporal Maxime Blasco of the 7th Alpine Regiment was killed during a battle “against a group of armed terrorists”.

A statement from the French Ministry of Defense claimed that the dead soldier was part of a deployed French unit in aarea forested near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso.

The statement stated that the unit’s mission was to track down a militant group that had been identified in precedence from a drone. The unit was supported by two armed helicopters and a drone.

The statement added that the armed militants clashed with the unit and that a sniper killed Blasco, before he was also killed in the clash.

In June Blasco received a military medal in recognition of its “exceptional services”, as the presidency claimed in a press release.

Expressing his “deep touch”, French President Emmanuel Macron affirmed the “determination of France to fight terrorism”.

This brings the death toll of French soldiers killed since 2013 in the Sahel region during operations against militants to 52.

On January 2, two soldiers were killed by an explosive device as their vehicle passed during a reconnaissance mission. 5 days later, 3 soldiers were killed in an IED explosion.

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusrat al-Islam and Muslims group claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

Eight years after the French military intervention in the Sahel region, Macron announced in June to reduce the French presence in the region, focus efforts on counter-terrorism operations and support local armies in battles within the framework of an international coalition that includes European countries.

It is assumed that the number of French forces in the Sahel region will be reduced, from around 5,000 or more currently to 2,500 or 3,000 by 2023, following a reorganization process that began in recent weeks, and mainly includes the closure of French military sites. in Kidal, Tessalit and Timbuktu in North Financial.

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