Several French soldiers injured in Mali blast

By Rodrigue Forku

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AA) – Several French soldiers were injured in an attack on France’s force Operation Barkhane in central Mali on Monday morning, French media reported.

"The French forces of Operation Barkhane were struck, Monday, June 21 in the morning, by a car bomb attack in the district of Kaigourou, in Gossi (central Mali)," France 24 reported.

According to local sources, the large explosion left several people injured. Witnesses said several helicopters were dispatched to the area from Gao.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

The attack comes over a week after French President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of Operation Barkhane, France's flagship military operation in the Sahel, and the formation of an international "anti-terrorism" alliance to combat extremist groups.

Operation Barkhane was launched in 2014 to conduct military operations against extremist armed groups and train and support military forces of the G5 countries. Some 5,100 French military personnel are deployed in the Sahel region as part of the operation.

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