Several French soldiers, operating under France’s Operation Barkhane, were injured after being targeted by a car bomb in the central Malian town of Gossi.
“It was a car bomb, which is rare in this region and the car bomb targeted a Barkhane patrol,” said Wassim Nasr, FRANCE 24’s terrorism expert.
The attack came as France plans to reduce its military operations in Africa’s Sahel region in wake of an army takeover.
French President Emmanuel Macron has earlier called for a new international force for the region.
“While awaiting these guarantees, France has decided to suspend, as a temporary measure, joint military operations with Malian forces and national advisory missions for their benefit,” he said.
“These decisions will be re-evaluated in the coming days in the light of answers provided by the Malian authorities.”
More than 5,000 French troops were sent to the Sahel after France intervened to fend off a jihadist advance in Mali in 2013.
The Sahel is seen by many Western politicians and experts as a major risk because of the growing strength of jihadist groups there, as well as its role as a crossroads for arms and people smuggling.