PARIS (Sputnik) — A French soldier was killed during a special military operation in northern Mali, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.
"The President of the Republic was deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of a soldier of the first Parachute Regiment of Pamiers during airborne operations in Almoustarat region of Mali last night," the statement read.
According to the statement, French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the deceased soldier and expressed condolences to his family and friends.
In January 2013-July 2014, France held the Serval military operation in Mali aimed at ousting the jihadists from the country's north. In August 2014, it was replaced by the Barkahane operation, designed by the so-called G5 Sahel, comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, and launched to eradicate terrorism in the region. So far, the French forces comprise about 4,000 servicemen.
The United Nations has been running a stabilization mission, MINUSMA, in the turbulent African country since 2013 to counter Islamist militants