News / Africa

French Soldier Killed in Mali Fighting

Map of MaliMap of Mali
x
Map of Mali
Map of Mali
France says one of its soldiers has been killed in fighting in northern Mali.

French military officials say in a statement Sunday that the soldier, a parachutist, was killed Saturday night in an assault on militants in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains in northern Mali.

He is the third French soldier to die since France began its intervention to dislodge the al-Qaida-linked militants on January 11.

France says at least 15 Islamist rebels were killed or wounded in the fighting Saturday that led to the soldier's death.

The clashes came as Chad announced that its troops in northern Mali killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the al-Qaida-linked militant who claimed responsibility for the deadly siege at an Algerian natural gas plant earlier this year.

An army statement read on national television said the one-eyed Belmokhtar was killed Saturday when Chadian soldiers overran a militant base in the mountains of northern Mali near the Algerian border. The killing has not been independently verified.

The report of Belmokhtar's death came 24 hours after Chad's president said Chadian forces had killed another notorious al-Qaida commander, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid -- the top commander of the terrorist group's North African branch, known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb or AQIM.

Algerian and French news reports say authorities are attempting to match DNA samples from Abou Zeid's relatives with remains found in northern Mali after a French-led military offensive early this week.

If the deaths are confirmed, the French-led force fighting in northern Mali will have eliminated the region's two top al-Qaida leaders within a week.

Belmokhtar, a veteran al-Qaida lieutenant who fought in Afghanistan, is reported to have broken away from AQIM in December to form a splinter group.

Weeks later, after former colonial power France sent military forces into Mali to help repel an al-Qaida offensive, Belmokhtar claimed responsibility for an attack on the internationally-operated In Amenas gas plant in southern Algeria.

Nearly 40 workers died in the attack, which ended when Algerian troops stormed the facility.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid