2019.07.23 13:00

Five Estonian soldiers injured in Mali 2019.07.23 13:00

On Monday night, suicide bombers attacked the French military base in Gao, Mali, where Estonian and Malian troops are also serving. Five members of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) were injured alongside French and Malian troops, according to Estonian public broadcaster, ERR.

The troops injured in the attack were immediately administered first aid, however, their injuries are not severe, the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) confirmed. According to The Defence Post, an apparent suicide car bomb exploded at the entrance to a French military base on July 22.

“There was an attack [...] at the entrance to the French part of the camp in Gao,” said French military spokesperson Colonel Frederic Barbry, according to AFP. “There was no incursion into the base.”

Following the attack, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas wished "the Estonian troops injured in Mali a speedy recovery, and peace of mind to all of their loved ones".

"French President Emmanuel Macron asked me to pass along the same message to our troops and their loved ones. The Estonian state will do everything it can to help aid the speedy recovery of our troops."

There are some 50 Estonian troops serving in Mali assigned to the French-led counter-terrorism Operation Barkhane, which began in August 2014.

Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces (KASP) are also deployed alongside German troops in the same Gao area as the Estonian and French forces.