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A French non-commissioned officer of Serbian origin killed in Mali (Maj)

(B2) A French soldier - participating in the French Operation Serval - was killed on Monday (July 14), the Presidency of the Republic has just announced, Tuesday July 15

Non-commissioned officer in the 1st Foreign Engineering Regiment of Laudun-l'Ardoise (Gard), he died " while taking part in a reconnaissance operation in the region of Al Moustarat in northern Mali. This is the 9th French soldier killed in Mali since the start of Operation Serval, which began in January 2013.

A suicide attack

The Ministry of Defense has provided some details on the circumstances of the death of Chief Warrant Officer Dejvid Nikolic. It was late afternoon, Monday (July 14). " A suicide vehicle attacked elements of the French force engaged in an area control operation about a hundred kilometers north of Gao ».

7 injured, including 2 serious and 1 dead

The attack was directed against armored vehicles installed in surveillance in the Almoustarat sector. Seven soldiers were hit by the explosion then immediately taken care of by their comrades before being evacuated to the military field hospital in Gao. One of the three seriously injured soldiers died in the evening. »

Experienced and seasoned

Born in Belgrade (Serbia), naturalized French, Chief Warrant Officer Dejvid Nikolic had more than 25 years of service in the French armies. " Experienced and seasoned », he was 45 years old and was carrying out his eighth overseas operation mission in Mali. He is silent " particularly involved in Gabon, Djibouti, and more recently in Afghanistan (2005 and 2010) and Lebanon (2012 and 2013) ” indicates the Ministry of Defense.

Operations continue

This death occurred on the same day that Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Defense Minister, announced the end of Operation Serval. " In Mali, Operation Serval is in fact over ". The 3000 French soldiers remain on the ground but as part of an operation "Barkhane", more specifically dedicated to the fight against terrorism and targeting all countries in the sub-Saharan region (Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso). " France is taking action in the Sahel for its security and for the stability of the African states in the region. His determination to fight against terrorist activities is total” repeated today Jean-Yves Le Drian.

((Jérémy Cauderlier st. and Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 16 p.m. with circumstances of the attack, biography and comments from the Minister of Defense.

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