The Elysee Palace has said in a statement that a French soldier was killed Saturday morning in Mali as an explosive device detonated near his armoured vehicle.
The dead soldier, Brigadier Ronan Pointeau, belonged to the 1st Spahi Regiment of the French Army. French President Emmanuel Macron praised the soldier's "sacrifice."
This comes as Mali military was subjected to one of the deadliest attacks in recent history on Friday, which resulted in 54 people killed. According to government spokesman Yaya Sangare, "heavily armed unidentified men" attacked an army post in Indelimane, Menaka region, around noon on Friday.
"The dispatched reinforcements found 54 bodies including one civilian, 10 survivors, and found considerable material damage," Sangare said in a Twitter post on Saturday.
He added that the death toll was provisional as the identification of the dead bodies was not completed.