Dubai – Masaader News
Thirteen French soldiers have been killed in a helicopter collision during an operation against jihadists in Mali, French president’s office says.
A Tiger attack helicopter hit a Cougar military transport mid-air as it manoeuvred to engage the militants, who were fleeing on motorbikes and in pick-up trucks.
The two aircraft crashed not far from each other, killing everyone on board including six commandos and an officer.
President Emmanuel Macron expressed “deep sadness” over the biggest single loss of life for the French military since the 1980s.
An investigation has begun into how the two helicopters hit each other.
France now has 4,500 troops deployed to support the forces of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad against the jihadists.