The funeral of French Foreign Legion Sergeant Marcel Kalafut was held in May at Camp Raffalli, his regimental headquarters in Calvi, Corsica. The 26-year-old was killed when his vehicle hit a land mine during a covert operation in northern Mali.
France’s minister of defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, paid tribute to the young noncommissioned officer, saying he had “died for France,” and posthumously awarded him France’s most valued medal, the Légion d’Honneur.
Kalafut was the eighth French soldier killed in combat in Mali since French forces intervened in January last year. The ninth, also a Legionnaire, was killed in July. At Kalafut’s funeral, Le Drian said 1,000 French soldiers would remain in Mali and 3,000 in the Sahel-Sahara zone “for as long as necessary.”