France's defense ministry says a French soldier deployed in Mali has died after being accidentally shot by a fellow soldier at a military camp.

In a statement Friday, the ministry said the 23-year-old soldier, Baptiste Truffaux, died on Thursday after being transported to the surgical unit in the northern city of Gao for medical care.

France intervened in Mali in early 2013, after the country's northern half fell under control of Tuareg separatists and then al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists.

French troops are still operating in Gao and other parts of northern Mali as part of a five-nation counterterrorism operation codenamed Barkhane.

Launched a year ago, the operation spans four other countries in addition to Mali and includes the use of drones flying sometimes in 20-hour shifts to spot extremists.