French soldier killed in fight against militants in Mali

A French soldier was killed by a bomb in northern Mali early Thursday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves le Drian reported.

Le Drian spoke in an interview with CNN affiliate BFMTV.

The paratrooper, who died in the Ifoghas Mountains, is the eighth French soldier to have been killed as part of Operation Serval, Le Drian said.

In the operation, 1,600 French troops are fighting Islamist extremist fighters alongside Malian and forces of the U.N. mission in Mali, the French Defense Ministry said.