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Feb 17, 2019 | Mali

Malian soldier wounded in firefight with German allies

By AFP
German troops in Mali, where a night-time firefight with Malian allies left one soldier seriously wounded.  By SEYLLOU (AFP/File)
German troops in Mali, where a night-time firefight with Malian allies left one soldier seriously wounded. By SEYLLOU (AFP/File)

A Malian soldier was seriously wounded during a night-time exchange of fire with German troops serving as UN peacekeepers in the west African nation, the German army said Sunday.

The incident took place late Saturday as the German soldiers were returning from having recovered a troop transport vehicle 50 kilometres (31 miles) from their base in Gao, western Mali, said a statement from the Bundeswehr (German army).

"A German convoy came under fire in the dark, the situation was unclear," a spokesman for army operations command in Potsdam told AFP. The German soldiers returned fire, before returning safely to camp.

"According to current information, it only later became clear that it must have been an exchange of fire between the Malian defence forces and the German troops," the Bundeswehr said in its statement.

One Malian soldier was wounded and taken to a French field hospital by the German forces, the army said. He "remains in a life-threatening condition", the statement added.

Around 1,000 German soldiers are present in Mali as part of the United Nations stabilisation mission known as MINUSMA.

Some 15,000 peacekeepers have been on the ground since a peace accord was signed in 2015 between the Bamako government and armed groups, following a 2012 Islamist uprising in the country's north.

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