Two more French soldiers killed in Mali

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Two French soldiers have died in an operation in Mali and a third was injured when an improvised explosive device hit their armoured vehicle, the French presidency says.

The soldiers were on a reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering mission in the eastern region of Menaka when the blast occurred late on Saturday morning, the joint chiefs of staff said in a statement.

The injured soldier's life was not in danger, the presidency said.

Less than a week ago three French soldiers were killed in Mali also by an improvised explosive device during a mission in the southern region of Hombori, near the border with Burkina Faso.

Al Qaeda's North Africa wing has said it was responsible for that attack, jihadist monitoring organisation SITE Intel reported on Saturday.

The soldiers in both cases were part of France's Barkhane military operations in Mali against Islamic fighters.

France has a huge military presence across West Africa; around 5100 soldiers make up its anti-insurgent operation Barkhane in the restive Sahel region.

The area is home to many armed groups, several of which have sworn their allegiance to Islamic State or al Qaeda.