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Three French soldiers killed by explosive device in Mali operation

Three French soldiers were killed Monday in Mali when their armored vehicle struck an explosive device in the Hombori region in the center of the poor Sahel state, the Élysée Palace said.

The deaths brought to 47 the number of French soldiers killed in Mali since France first intervened militarily in January 2013 to help drive back Islamist jihadists who had overrun parts of the West African country.

President Emmanuel Macron “salutes the memory of these soldiers with the greatest respect,” the president’s office said in a statement.

He underscored “France’s determination to continue the fight against terrorism,” it said.

France’s Barkhane force numbers 5,100 troops spread across the arid Sahel region and has been fighting jihadist groups alongside soldiers from Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, who together make up the G5 Sahel group.