Tag Archives: Gao

Barkhane: French soldier killed in Mali

French soldier Kévin Clément, 21, belonged to the 1st foreign regiment of cavalry of Carpiagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) engaged in Sahel since February within the Barkhane force, died in combat in Liptako, Mali, in the morning on May 4, during a “sweeping action against armed terrorist groups” in the area known as “three borders“.

The press release from the CEMA services specifies that two jihadists were “neutralised“, but that the first class legionnaire Kévin Clément, boarded in a light armored vehicle, was seriously wounded by enemy fire.

His death was declared later at the surgical unit in Gao, Mali, despite immediate care by the medical team of his unit. AFP reported he succumbed to the head injury.

During this combat operation, 1st class Kévin Clément, boarded in a light armored vehicle, was seriously injured by enemy fire. Immediately taken in charge by the medical team deployed within the unit, he was evacuated by helicopter towards the surgical unit in Gao, where his death was announced in the official press release.

A Reaper drone was immediately engaged to contribute to securing the unit, and revealed that the tactical sub-group had been engaged in a combat encounter with isolated terrorist elements.

In a press release, Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, underlined that “the legionnaire Clément joins in the ultimate sacrifice his comrade Brigadier Dmytro Martynyouk, who died on May 1. This heavy tribute paid by the Foreign Legion does not undermine its determination or its effectiveness… ”

The Ministry of the Armed Forces, and in particular the Army, are alongside the family of 1st class legionnaire Kévin Clément and all the soldiers of Operation Barkhane” added the official press release.

The Minister of the Armed Forces bowed to the engagement of the 1st class legionnaire Kévin Clément who served France until the end of his mission,” With honor and loyalty “as the motto of the Foreign Legion so aptly puts it” wrote Florence Parly. “France never forgets any of those who chose it and fought for her,” said the ministerial press release.

In recent weeks, the French army has multiplied the offensives in this region of the Sahel, claiming the “neutralization” of several dozen jihadists in total since the beginning of the year. Barkhane’s workforce has recently increased from 4,500 to 5,100 soldiers. Paris hopes that this reinforcement will make it possible to reverse the balance of forces on the ground, where jihadist groups have multiplied the attacks in recent months.

Ukrainian soldier killed in Sahel

French Foreign Legion soldier died from injuries after anti-jihadist operation in Mali: Brigadier Dymyto Martynyouk was struck by an improvised explosive device during an “operation against terrorist groups” on April 23. He died from wounds on Mai 1, the Army announced in a communiqué.

In the late afternoon of April 23, a Barkhane Force military tanker was hit by an improvised explosive device in Liptako (Mali) while the unit to which it belonged was engaged in an operation against armed groups of terrorists.

Both injured in the vehicle were immediately taken care of by the medical team deployed alongside them, while a Cayman helicopter, escorted by a Tiger helicopter, was engaged to provide medical evacuation to the Gao base surgical centre.

The two soldiers were evacuated to France on April 24 in order to be able to apply the appropriate care.

Brigadier Dmytro Martynyouk of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment died on May 1 of his injuries. His comrade’s condition is stable, and his vital prognosis is not in jeopardy.

The Chief of the Defense Staff, General François Lecointre, bowed with deep sadness to the memory of this soldier who died for France. All his thoughts are with his family and his brothers in arms. (Image: illustration)

Mali: soldiers killed in attack

Dozens Malian soldiers have been killed in an attack on an army base in the country’s northeast in the town of Tarkint, north of Gao, according to the armed forces. French media indicated number of casualties has risen to 30 servicemen slain, and five wounded.

There was now immediate claim of responsibility for this attack, the deadliest against for the Malian army this year.

Mali’s army has repeatedly suffered heavy casualties from armed Islamists groups active in the area affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS), intending to establish the Caliphate in West Africa.

13 French military perish in Mali

During counter-terrorist operation in Mali thirteen French soldiers have been killed in a helicopter collision, the French president’s office announced.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “deep sadness” over the biggest single loss of life for the French military since the 1980s.

An investigation has begun into how the two helicopters crashed into each other.
It happened around 19:40 local time (19:40 GMT) on November 25 near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger where the aircraft were reinforcing ground troops who were pursuing djihadists, the French military explained.

Thousands of French troops have been deployed in Mali in anti-terrorist operaiton Barkhane in Mali.

Sophie Petronin abductors in Mali unclear about intentions

Sebastian Petronin (38)  discovered a video of his mother, in a headscarf and looking frail and tearful, the latest proof the 75-year-old Sophie Petronin is alive nearly two years after she was kidnapped by jihadists and held in the desert of Mali. The Islamist group releases a video showing the hostages Gloria Cecilia Narvaez and Sophie Petronin. The hostages address respectively Pope Francis and the French government asking to be rescued.

Fearing for her deteriorating health, Petronin hopes her abductors will allow him to visit her just once, even if there is scant chance he will be able to take her back. Now from Niamey, Niger he tries to obtain information to move as close as possible to his mother., reportedly kept in remote places in desert. In the video, Sophie Petronin tells that his captors are accepting a meeting with her son.

“We are really concerned”, – Petronin said. “She is a fighter but I feel like she has suffered blows to her morale that affected her, and I think she is very tired”, he added sharing his thoughts. He prefers to ensure his complete security with his contacts before eventually going on the spot, if possible.

“Nobody knows what these people want in exchange for the release of my mother, so of course, I go in order to release her but I already know that I will not leave with her”, Pétronin admits.

Sebastian Petronin

Sophie Pétronin is a humanitarian worker of a double French/Swiss nationality. She is the founder of the NGO “Aid Association in Gao”, which is focused on child welfare in northern Mali. At present she is the only abducted French national in captivity. 

On December 24, 2016, Sophie Petronin was abducted in Gao. An investigation has been opened by the prosecutors in Paris and entrusted to the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI5).

It July 2017 first pieces of information broke out, when a jihadist group in Sahel broadcasted a video with Petronin and five other people kidnapped between 2011 and 2017 in Mali and also Burkina Faso. Their detention is claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked group.