Two French soldiers killed, one injured in Mali - Presidency

PARIS (Reuters) - Two French military personnel were killed while on an operation in Mali on Saturday when an improvised explosive device destroyed their armoured vehicle, the French Presidency said.

According to the statement, a third soldier was injured in the blast, which took place in the Tessalit region of Northern Mali.

The soldiers were part of France’s Barkhane military operations in Mali against Islamic fighters.

French President Emmanuel Macron praised “the courage and determination of the French military deployed in the Sahel region” and called for setting up without delay a “civilian political transition” in Mali.

International powers fear the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in a military coup on Aug. 18 could further destabilise the West African nation and undermine the fight against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the wider Sahel region.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Dan Grebler