A French soldier was killed in Mali on Saturday after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, France’s presidency said in a statement.
Corporal Ronan Pointeau died near Menaka in eastern Mali following “the detonation of an improvised explosive device as his armoured vehicle drove by,” the statement said.
President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Pointeau’s “sacrifice” and said his thoughts were with the soldier’s colleagues and “his Sahelian brothers in arms, who are paying a heavy price in the fight against terrorism.”
The Sahel region is the scene of repeated clashes between jihadists and local forces backed by troops from Western countries.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack late on Saturday. IS group fighters “detonated an explosive device on a French army convoy in the Indelimane area”, it said on its Telegram channel, shortly after also claiming an attack Friday on a Malian army base in the same region that killed 49 troops.