13 French Soldiers Killed in Mid-Air Helicopter Collision in Mali

Thirteen French soldiers lost their lives when helicopters carrying them collided with each other at low altitude while supporting ground forces pursuing Islamic militants in Mali, on Monday.

The incident happened around 19:40 local time (19:40 GMT) near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger when a Tiger attack helicopter hit a Cougar transport helicopter mid-air as it maneuvered to engage the militants, who were fleeing on motorbikes and in pick-up trucks.

The helicopters reportedly crashed into the ground not far from each other, killing everyone on board including six commandos and an officer. The two helicopters were sent to reinforce the ground troops, along with a combat jet.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “deep sadness” on the incident.

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