French soldier seriously wounded after Mali mortar attack: army statement

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 10:58 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - Several French soldiers were wounded, including one seriously, after a mortar attack on a United Nations' peacekeeping camp in northern Mali, France's armed forces said on Thursday, highlighting the ongoing insecurity in the West African country.

In a statement, the army said the attack took place Thursday morning targeting the MINUSMA peacekeeping force in Timbuktu near a French unit operating as part of a separate counter-terrorism force.

"In this attack several French soldiers were wounded, including one in a serious condition," the statement said.

France intervened in 2013 to drive out al Qaeda-linked militants who seized northern Mali the year before. It has since deployed more than 4,500 soldiers, known as the Barkhane force, across the region to hunt down Islamists.

That operation paved the way for the United Nations to deploy its more than 10,000-strong MINUSMA peacekeeping force to the West African state.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Bate Felix)