13 French troops killed in Mali operation against militants

Filed on November 26, 2019
helicopter collision

(File photo)

The accident occurred while the forces were engaging fighters who have staged a series of deadly strikes.

Thirteen French soldiers fighting jihadists in Mali were killed in an accident between two helicopters, the French presidency said on Tuesday, the single biggest loss of French troops in combat in the region since intervening there in 2013.

France has more than 4,500 troops countering militant insurgencies in the Sahel region, where violence by militants linked to Al Qaeda and Daesh in the sparely-populated area has proliferated in recent years.

"The president announces with deep sadness of the death of 13 French troops in Mali on the evening of November 25, in an accident between their two helicopters during a combat mission against militants," the statement from the president's office said.

The militants use central and northern Mali as a launch pad for attacks across the largely desert region.

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