French special forces wounded in Iraq by exploding Islamic State drone


Two Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were killed and two French troops seriously wounded when a booby-trapped drone crashed to the ground near them north of the beseiged town of Mosul held by the Islamic State group group.

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A booby-trapped drone has killed two Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and badly wounded two French soldiers battling so-called Islamic State in Iraq, reports BBC News.

A Kurdish defence official told Reuters news agency that the drone exploded when the Peshmerga tried to pick it up after it had crashed to the ground.

The incident happened on October 2nd, north of the IS-held city of Mosul.

IS militants are said to have tried to use drones to launch attacks at least two other times in the past month.

In response, US-led coalition and Iraqi pro-government forces have been warned to treat any type of small flying aircraft as a potential bomb, according to The New York Times.

But few units have been provided with devices that US troops have to disarm them.

The French newspaper Le Monde reported on Tuesday that the drone involved in the attack 10 days ago had been intercepted in flight and had exploded near the Peshmerga and French soldiers when it crashed to the ground.

A US official told The New York Times the Peshmerga had been examining the drone when a small explosive device disguised as a battery blew up.

It was not clear whether the bomb was detonated remotely or contained a timer.

On Wednesday, the secretary general of the Kurdistan Region's defence ministry, Jabbar al-Yawar, confirmed the death toll and said the French soldiers had been training the Peshmerga at the time of the attack.

The wounded French troops were immediately evacuated to France for medical treatment, Le Monde said, adding that one was "between life and death".

The French government initially declined to comment on the incident, but a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that French special forces had been injured.

Read more of this report from BBC News.

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