A French Foreign Legion soldier who was fighting in Mali died on Friday from his injuries in an IED attack, the Élysée Palace announced in a press release on Saturday.
Brigadier Dymyto Martynyouk was struck by an improvised explosive device during an “operation against terrorist groups” on April 23, the French presidential office said.
He died at the Percy military hospital near Paris, where he had been airlifted for treatment. President Emmanuel Macron expressed “profound respect” for his “sacrifice”, the statement continued.
In a separate statement, the armed forces chief of staff said a French tank truck was struck by a roadside bomb, wounding two soldiers in the vehicle.
This brings France’s death toll for its military campaign in the Sahel – a vast, semi-arid region just south of the Sahara Desert – to 42.
France started its military operations there in 2013, after Mali asked it to help regain territory seized by Islamist extremists who had hijacked a Touareg rebellion in the country’s northern desert regions the previous year.
The French military succeeded in this initial task – but the jihadist insurgency has since spread throughout Mali and across the border to Niger and Burkina Faso.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)