Czechs in Mali engage in the fight against terrorists

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

In the afternoon of 18th June, Czech soldiers serving in the EU-Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali became involved in the fight against the terrorists who attacked the Campement Kangaba Hotel resort near Bamako on the same day.

Following a request from the French-commanded EUTM Headquarters in Mali, two teams of the Czech Rapid Reaction Force directly engaged in combat with terrorists and, in cooperation with members of the Malian and French Armed Forces, they then carried out emergency procedures in evacuating and rescuing personnel from the area of attack, providing first aid to the wounded and directing and escorting ambulances.

"Events such as these clearly demonstrate the importance of our involvement in foreign operations alongside our partners, and also highlights the significance of fighting terrorism directly at the point of attack," said Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky.

"Our soldiers, whose main task is to protect the mission headquarters, demonstrated a high level of professionalism and readiness during the incident," said Chief of the General Staff General Josef Becvar, when discussing the unit’s intervention whose core members are attached to the 71st Mechanised Battalion from Hranice.

Later in the day, the Czech soldiers handed back their duties to the Malian Police and other security forces and returned to the EUTM headquarters.

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By Oldrich Holecek

June 21, 2017