French soldier killed in operation on extremists in Mali

PARIS (AP) " A French soldier has been killed in a clash with extremists in Mali, as part of a French military operation aimed at fighting radicals across a swath of Africa.

French President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement Thursday the soldier was killed overnight "after a clash with terrorists" in southwestern Mali. Hollande's office and the French military did not provide further details.

Hollande reiterated France's support for Mali and the U.N. force keeping the peace there.

Three Malian soldiers were killed in an attack on a military post last week in an area of northern Mali frequented by drug traffickers and jihadist groups.

A French-led intervention drove out Islamic extremists from strongholds in northern Mali in 2013 but sporadic attacks continue.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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