A soldier of the French Foreign Legion who fought in Mali died Friday of his injuries during an IED attack, the Elysée Palace announced on Saturday in a press release.
On April 23, Brigadier Dymyto Martynyouk was struck by an improvised explosive device during an “operation against terrorist groups”, announced the French presidential office.
He died at the Percy military hospital near Paris, where he had been flown for treatment. President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “deep respect” for his “sacrifice,” the statement said.
This brings France’s death toll to 42 for its military campaign in the Sahel – a vast semi-arid region south of the Sahara Desert.
France began its military operations there in 2013, after maliasing it to help reclaim the territory seized by Islamist extremists who had hijacked a Tuareg rebellion in the desert regions of the north of the country the previous year.
The French army succeeded in this initial task – but the jihadist insurgency has since spread throughout Mali and across the border with Niger and Burkina Faso.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)