Thirteen French were killed on Monday in a helicopter accident during an operation against jihadist militants in northern Mali, the French president’s office said in a statement on Tuesday.
The accident, a collision between two helicopters, occurred while the forces were engaging jihadist fighters who have staged a series of deadly strikes in northern Mali in recent weeks, the Elysée Palace said.
President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “deep sadness” at the deaths, saluting the courage of French troops deployed in Mali and sharing his condolences for the families of the slain soldiers.
An inquiry has been opened into the cause of the mid-air collision, Defence Minister Florence Parly said in a separate statement.
Source: France 24