French forces open fire on vehicle in Mali killing three people

PARIS, French forces from the Barkhane multi-country force have killed three people in a vehicle control operation in the Timbuktu region of northern Mali, according to a Defence Ministry statement on Wednesday.

The operation by the French troops took place on June 8 but was only revealed today.

The French statement said that the Barkhane forces were operating controls “in a zone known for having armed terrorist groups.” The vehicle in which the three deceased were travelling reportedly refused to be controlled, even after several warning shots were fired, the Defence Ministry said.

Fire was then directed to stop the vehicle, which subsequently exploded, killing two adults and an adolescent inside.

After an examination, the vehicle was found to be transporting a large quantity of gasoline, but there was no indication weapons or explosives were found aboard.

The French military buried the three bodies in line with international law and local custom, the statement noted.

An enquiry has been started to shed all light on the facts in the case, it added.

France has more than 4,000 troops deployed in anti-terrorist interventions in the Sahel region with Operation Barkhane, spread over Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania.

Source: Kuwait News Agency