1 French Soldier Killed And 1 US Service Member Injured In Mali Mortar Attack On Military Base

French soldiers

A French soldier was killed and one US service member wounded on Saturday in an attack on a French military base in the city of Gao according to U.S. Africa Command (US AFRICOM).

AFRICOM revealed that the US service member’s injuries are not life threatening.

However, the identify of the military person and his or her unit were not revealed.

The service member was reportedly transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Sunday, according to U.S Africa Command.

French soldiers
French soldiers standing in front of an helicopter in a Malian Air Base. (Credit: Getty Images).

In a related development, the French army released a statement on Sunday saying that, French artillery man, Alexandre Martin, 24, was killed while participating in an anti-insurgency operation in Mali.

The operation against the insurgents is codenamed “Operation Barkhane.”

In Mali, where a variety of Islamic extremist groups have long operated, a small contigent of US troops supports the French-led counterterrorism efforts.

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The number of U.S troops supporting “Operation Barkhane” has not been disclosed by AFRICOM.

“US AFRICOM, while supporting the French military activities in the region shares assets such as medical evacuation, logistics assistance, [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance], and air refueling support,” AFRICOM stated in a statement.

Despite many coups in Mali, the most recent of which occurred in May 2021, the country has continued to enjoy strong support from the US.

The recent attack on foreign forces serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that American personnel face in parts of Africa, where military operations are conducted secretly.

An attack of similar nature killed four US soldiers in neighboring Niger in 2017.

Following the Niger incident in 2017, certain AFRICOM missions were scaled down as the military’s assets were moved to other parts of the globe.

However, AFRICOM maintains a regular presence in Niger, where the Air Force maintains a desert outpost that serves as a center for surveillance and reconnaissance missions across the area.

Source: Star and Stripes.

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