French soldier dies from injuries suffered in Mali

Soldier suffered injuries in October when landmine blew up his vehicle

Malian prime minister Modibo Keita and Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (top center) attend the funerals of five of the victims of last week’s attack in Bamako. Twenty people were killed in a seige, 14 of them foreigners: six Russians, three Chinese, two Belgians, an American, an Israeli and a Senegalese. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Malian prime minister Modibo Keita and Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (top center) attend the funerals of five of the victims of last week’s attack in Bamako. Twenty people were killed in a seige, 14 of them foreigners: six Russians, three Chinese, two Belgians, an American, an Israeli and a Senegalese. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

A French soldier has died after suffering injuries in Mali when his vehicle was attacked by “terrorist groups”, the French president’s office said in a statement on Thursday.

The soldier, who held a sergeant’s role in a parachute regiment, suffered the injuries in October in the north of Mali when a landmine blew up his vehicle, according to the statement.

Earlier this week Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said the Government has not ruled out sending a peacekeeping mission to Mali to replace French soldiers.

If France redeployed troops to protect its citizens at home and abroad, and created gaps in peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world, Ireland would look at assisting the United Nations in such circumstances, he said. “That is what Ireland does: we do peacekeeping, and we do it well.”

France has a large military presence in Mali, which has witnessed attacks by Islamist militants in recent years, including one earlier this month on a luxury hotel in the Mali capital of Bamako.

Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda seized Mali’s desert north in 2012 following a separatist uprising but were scattered by a French military operation the following year.

The attack on the hotel in Bamako earlier this month came just a week after Islamic State attacks in Paris killed 130 people.