On 2 January 2021, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated while a French military operation was underway in the Menaka region, located in northeastern Mali. The explosion — which struck a French army vehicle reportedly conducting an intelligence gathering mission in the area — caused two fatalities and injured at least one other individual. According to international media outlets, al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the second such occurrence in the last week against French military forces in Mali. The Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), an affiliate of al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the previous attack