PARIS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- A French soldier lost his life in "accidental circumstances" overnight in Mali, the country's defense ministry announced on Thursday.
Corporal Abdelatif Rafik died when a tire of truck he had serviced "accidentally exploded" and "violently" threw the officer on the ground, the ministry said in a press release.
He was treated at the scene but he succumbed to his injuries. Two other servicemen were injured and hospitalized, it added.
France had launched its military offensive in Mali in 2013 to crack down on Islamist fighters, who had seized control of Mali's northern region a year earlier.
With the support of African countries, Paris has deployed around 4,500 French troops in West Africa's Sahel region as part of Operation Barkhane to combat extremist insurgents and restore security in the area.