Mali: 13 French soldiers killed in helicopter accident during counter-terrorism operation

Mali: 13 French soldiers killed in helicopter accident during counter-terrorism operation

Thirteen French soldiers have been killed in a midair collision between two helicopters during an operation against Muslim terrorists in Mali, the French president’s office said.

Macron expressed “deep sadness” at the news of the Monday evening crash.

In a written statement, he expressed his support for the French military and stressed the “courage of the French soldiers” fighting the persistent Islamic threat in the Sahel region.

The statement provided no further details about the accident.

The operation in West and Central Africa involves 4,500 personnel and is France’s largest overseas military mission.

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Mali has suffered violence since 2012 when Muslim terrorists took over the north. With the help of France, Mali’s army has recaptured the territory.

However, insecurity there continues and the violence has spread to other countries in the region.

Another French soldier, Brigadier Ronan Pointeau, was killed earlier this month after an explosive device detonated near his vehicle.