France's Defense Ministry says a commando paratrooper in Niger has been killed when a fellow soldier's weapon fired accidentally.

Cpl. Thomas Guillebault was part of a force based in the Niger capital of Niamey that is supporting French troops fighting Islamist insurgents in neighboring Mali. France led a mission in January to oust the militants from power in towns across northern Mali.

In a statement, the Defense Ministry said the 21-year-old Guillebault was killed Thursday in Niamey by another French soldier who accidentally fired his weapon. The statement said French gendarmes, who are deployed with the force, will investigate the circumstances of the accident.