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French soldier dies in maintenance accident in Mali

Adrien Quelin, 29, died after truck cabin fell while he was working on vehicle’s engine, says French military

James Tasamba   | 13.10.2021
French soldier dies in maintenance accident in Mali FILE PHOTO

KIGALI, Rwanda

A French soldier participating in Operation Barkhane died in a maintenance accident in Mali, the French military said on Wednesday.

In a statement, Gen. Thierry Burkhard, chief of staff of French military, said Adrien Quelin, 29, died after the truck cabin fell while he was working on the vehicle’s engine.

The accident occurred in Mali’s Timbuktu area on Tuesday, according to the military .

“He was seriously injured. Despite the immediate care by the emergency services on the spot, he could not be saved. He died as a result of his injuries,” the statement read.

It added that an investigation was launched into the incident.

Burkhard offered his condolences to the family of the fallen serviceman and the military.

Quelin worked as a mechanic for the military.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly also paid her tribute.

“I salute his commitment and bow to his memory. My thoughts are with his family, loved ones and brothers in arms,” she tweeted.

Last month, a French soldier was killed in a clash with an armed militant group in Mali.

France maintains about 5,100 soldiers in West Africa as part of its Operation Barkhane anti-terrorism force, with its headquarters in Chad’s capital N’Djamena.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced in July a drawdown in France’s military operation there.

More than 50 French soldiers have died in the Sahel region since Paris deployed troops in Mali in 2013 after unrest broke out in the north of the country, according to official data.

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