A French soldier deployed to Mali as part of the Barkhane force fighting jihadist insurgents has wounded two comrades with a pistol while drunk, the army headquarters said Saturday. The confrontation under the influence happened overnight from December 24 to 25 at a base in Gao in eastern Mali.
“Two soldiers from the same unit were getting on each other’s nerves. One soldier wounded two of his comrades with his service weapon," an automatic pistol, army spokesman Frederic Barbry told AFP.
One of the two men was wounded very lightly, while the other’s injury was more serious although not life-threatening. Both were flown out following the shooting and brought to hospital in France. Military police are investigating the incident and “once the probe is finished, (the shooter) will be flown home," Barbry said.
France’s Barkhane force numbers 5,100 troops spread across the arid Sahel region and has been fighting jihadist groups alongside soldiers from Mauritania, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, who together make up the G5 Sahel group.
Paris is weighing cuts in the number of soldiers deployed in the region ahead of a summit planned for mid-February.