Three French soldiers were killed after their armored vehicle hit an IED during counterterrorist operations in the Hombori area of Mali’s central Mopti province.

The soldiers on a convoy escort mission between the towns of Hombori and Gossi, near the border with Niger and Burkina Faso, when their vehicle was struck by the explosive device. They were participating in Operation Barkhane that has been fighting an Islamic insurgency in the Sahel region since 2013.

The three soldiers were identified as BCH Tanerii Mauri, 1CL Dorian Issakhanian, and 1CL Quentin Pauchet, in a Twitter post by the Army’s Chief of Staff. 

French troops killed in Mali in an IED explosion. (French MOD)

A statement released from the French Defense Ministry said that emergency medical treatment couldn’t save the troops. “Despite the immediate intervention of the medical team present in the convoy and the care provided, the three soldiers could not be revived.” The French launched a quick reaction force of air and ground troops to cover the withdrawal of the wounded troops.