Topic: Conflict in Mali
- Czech Republic Sends Military Contingent to Mali
- Chadian Troops Kill Al-Qaeda Commander in North Mali
- Hollande Thanks Moscow for Mali, Afghanistan Support
- Russian Aircraft Delivers Humanitarian Aid to Mali
- Russia Warns of Mali Conflict ‘Escalation’
- Cocaine, Islam, Nomad Pride: The Roots of Mali’s Crisis
PARIS, March 17 (RIA Novosti) – A French corporal was killed during fighting in northern Mali, bringing to five the death toll of the French military contingent fighting armed Islamists in the west African country, President Francois Hollande’s office said on Sunday.
Hollande expressed “the deepest condolences and the respect of the entire people” to the family of the corporal of the first marine infantry regiment” killed in Mali, the presidential office said in a statement.
France deployed a military force in the west African country in January to aid Mali’s government whose army had been retreating before the attack of armed groups with ties to al-Qaeda.
Mali, a French colony until 1960, has been in turmoil since last March’s military coup, which triggered an uprising of separatist Tuareg tribes that seized control of the country’s south.
The Tuaregs were soon suppressed by the better armed al-Qaeda affiliates, who overtook control of the northern region, imposing Sharia law and destroying historical heritage sites in Timbuktu, and later started a southward advance.
France has sent about 4,000 troops to Mali to fight the Islamic militants.
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