French Foreign Legion Soldier Dies of Injuries from IED Explosion in Mali

A French Foreign Legion Soldier succumbed to his injuries sustained in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Mali while supporting Operation Barkhane.

The deceased was identified as Brigadier Dmytro Martynyouk of the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er Régiment Étranger de Cavalerie, 1er REC), the only cavalry regiment in the French Foreign Legion (FFL; Légion étrangère).

He was seriously injured on April 23 in Mali when a Barkhane Force military tanker was hit by an improvised explosive device in Mali’s Liptako region while the unit was engaged in an operation against armed terrorist groups. He was transferred to the Percy Military Hospital ( Hôpital d’instruction des armées Percy or HIA Percy), where he succumbed to his injuries on Friday, May 1.

The Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly expressed her condolences to the Soldier’s family and brothers in arm.

Another Soldier also injured in the incident. His condition is now reportedly stable.

Following the IED explosion, the driver and the commander of the tanker were immediately taken care of by the medical team deployed alongside them, while an NH90 Caiman transport helicopter, escorted by a Tiger attack helicopter, was engaged to provide medical evacuation to the Gao base. The two soldiers were evacuated to France on April 24.

Operation Barkhane, named after a crescent-shaped dune in the Sahara desert, is an ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region, which commenced 1 August 2014. The operation consists of a 3,000-strong French force, which will be permanent and headquartered in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad.

Barkhane has been designed with five countries, and former French colonies, that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. These countries are collectively referred to as the “G5 Sahel”.

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