THE FRENCH ARMY has confirmed that one of their soldiers shot and wounded two comrades at a base in Mali on Christmas Eve during a drunken row.
The shooter was one of 5100 French troops stationed in northwest Africa’s Sahel region to combat jihadist insurgents. The Christmas Eve shooting occurred late at night at a military base in Gao, Eastern Mali.
A spokesman for the French Army told AFP that two soldiers were “getting on each other’s nerves” during a drunken Christmas celebration on the base. “One soldier wounded two of his comrades with his service weapon”, which was an automatic pistol.
One of the gunshot victims was seriously wounded, though his condition is not life-threatening while the other soldier received only mild injuries. The shooter will be returned to France “once the probe is finished” into the incident, which is being investigated by military police.
French soldiers fight alongside troops from Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger in the war against radical jihadist insurgents who terrorise the Sahel region. France is currently considering cutting their troop numbers in Africa, ahead of a summit planned for February.
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