A French military CaRaPACE tanker truck was damaged by the explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) about ten kilometers east of Timbuktu, Mali on Jan. 23.
The vehicle was engaged in a refueling mission supporting Operation Barkhane when the incident occurred.
The IED explosion caused a fire to start in the cabin of the vehicle, which quickly brought under control. The two soldiers were able to leave the vehicle to go to safety. They were reportedly injured and was evacuated by helicopter. The French military claimed that the impact of the explosion was mitigated by the cabin armor.
A statement from the French Ministry of Armed Forces said that the two injured will be repatriated to France within the next few hours.
Scania CaRaPACE (Camion Ravitailleur Pétrolier de l’Avant à Capacité Étendue, Frontline Oil Tanker Truck with Extended Capacity) is a fuel tanker truck with armored cabin operated by the French Army’s Military Fuel Service (Service des essences des armées, SEA).
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”.