The French armed forces admitted this Tuesday that Operation Barkhane troops stationed in Mali accidentally killed a civilian while firing warning shots over the alleged threat posed by a passenger bus.
The French General Staff stated that the incident occurred when the military saw a bus approaching their convoy at high speed. They tried in vain to distract the trainer and, according to the French version, fired several shots in the air.
Two of the bullets hit the windows of the bus and wounded three of the passengers, one of them seriously. The latter was evacuated to a French troop hospital in the nearby town of Gao, but died shortly afterwards.
In France, around 5,100 soldiers are stationed in Mali and other countries in the Sahel zone to contain the threat from Islamist groups. The military junta that governs Mali following the sudden departure of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has confirmed its willingness to continue working with the French armed forces.