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French foreign legion soldier dies after being wounded in Mali by ‘terrorist groups’

Published: Updated:

A soldier from the French foreign legion died in a military hospital near Paris on Friday after being wounded in an explosion in Mali last week in what the French presidency said was an operation against armed terrorist groups.

Brigadier Dmytro Martynyouk, of the first foreign cavalry regiment, died after being wounded by the improvised explosive device on April 23.

President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement the legionnaire was wounded by a bomb in the West African country on April 23 during “an operation against armed terrorist groups.”

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.

The other soldier remains in stable condition.

France, the former colonial power, has 5,100 troops in Mali and the wider Sahel region, but security has progressively worsened since it intervened in 2013 to stop an extremist advance to the Malian capital, Bamako.

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The death brings to 42 the number of soldiers killed from France’s operation in the Sahel region since it first stationed troops there in 2013 to help train and assist local forces against insurgents.

Thirteen soldiers died in a helicopter crash in Mali last November in France’s worst single loss of troops for more than three decades.