Malian soldier killed in militants attack during French PM visit GAO

Mali: At least one Malian soldier was killed by suspected militants Friday in the country’s restive north, hours before France’s prime minister visited French troops deployed in the region to help quash the Sahel’s threat.

Military sources and a civilian witness told AFP that in the assault on a Malian army post in the town of Menaka another soldier was wounded and at least one army vehicle stolen.

The latest death highlights the tough security problem for Malian, French and UN forces as they attempt to maintain order over vast stretches of desert where extremist groups roam, after being ousted from key towns by a French-led military operation in January 2013.