A French soldier was killed on Saturday in Mali after his armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, the French Presidency said in a statement.
The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group late on Saturday.
Corporal Ronan Pointeau of the French Army 1st Spahi Regiment in Valence, 24, died in the northeastern region of Menaka as his vehicle was “struck by an explosive device,” the Ministry of Defence said.
President Emmanuel Macron hailed the soldier’s “sacrifice” and expressed “his thoughts to his comrades engaged in operations in the Sahel”, “as well as their brothers-in-arms of the Sahelian armies, who are paying a heavy price in the fight against terrorism”.
“Caliphate soldiers have targeted a convoy of French forces vehicles (…) near Indelimane, in the region of Menaka, by detonating an explosive device,” the so-called Islamic State group said in a statement published on its Telegram channels on Saturday evening.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly said she would visit Mali shortly “in order to hold talks with Malian authorities”.