13 French soldiers perish in helicopter collision
A Tiger attack helicopter and Cougar military transport helicopter collided in Mali on Monday evening, in France's largest single military loss since 1983.
BAMAKO, MALI — A helicopter collision in Mali has taken the lives of 13 French soldiers in France's worst military loss in four decades.
On Monday evening, a French Tiger attack helicopter was reinforcing troops on the ground chasing after militants in Mali when the helicopter collided with a Cougar military transport helicopter around 7:40 p.m. local time.
The incident occurred near the Mali's border at Burkina Faso and Niger.
The two aircraft crashed near each other, killing all 13 French soldiers on board, including an officer and six commandos, according to the BBC.
An investigation has been launched to discover the cause of the collision, the heaviest single French military loss since a 1983 attack in Beirut killed 58 paratroopers.
In a tweet, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed "deep sadness" and called the soldiers "heroes."
French lawmakers observed a minute of silence for the fallen soldiers on Tuesday.
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