Explosive device kills 2 French soldiers in Mali
Two French soldiers were killed after their armored vehicle was hit by an explosive device in Mali. France has deployed around 4,000 French troops in the West Africa’s Sahel region as part of Operation Barkhane aimed at tackling Islamist militants in the region. Also, France began a military intervention in Mali in January 2013 to drive out al Qaeda-linked militants who hijacked a rebellion in 2012 by ethnic Tuaregs and attempted to take control of the central government in Bamako. However, The Sahel region with its huge expanse of remote desert is home to several jihadist groups. The area has seen several armed attacks on targets in neighboring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in recent years.
To make the soliders more powerful in terms of arms and ammunitions, more than $350 million has already been pledged for the G5 Sahel force but more is needed to help it reach its target of 5,000 properly trained and equipped troops to patrol hotspots and restore authority in lawless areas.