BAMAKO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Malian Presidency has awarded the Officer of the National Order of Mali to a French armyman who was killed in recent operations to help repulse Al-Qaida-linked rebels.
Mali's cabinet met on Wednesday under the leadership of interim President Dioncounda Traore to deliver the honor to Lieutenant Damien Boiteau, the government said in a statement.
Boiteau died after wounded on the first day of air raids on rebels, who have occupied northern Mali and were attempting southward push early in the month.
Paris declared intervention on Friday to help the Mali army resist against advances by rebels. After days of airstrike, the French troops launched ground operations with the support of armored vehicles.