There are six officers, six NCOs, and a master corporal from the army. They died « in the crash of their two helicopters ».
The balance is very heavy. Tuesday, November 26, the Elysee reported the deaths of 13 French soldiers deployed in Mali. These soldiers died « in the accident of their two helicopters, during a combat operation against jihadists », specifies the presidency.
« The President of the Republic salutes with the greatest respect the memory of these soldiers of the army, six officers, six NCOs and a master corporal, fallen in operation and dead for France in the hard fight against terrorism in the Sahel. He bows to the grief of their families and their loved ones and sends them his deepest condolences, assuring them of the unfailing solidarity of the Nation, « the statement continues, which does not specify the identities of the military.
This is the highest single-time loss for the French army since Uzbin’s ambush in Afghanistan in 2008, which killed 10 people, after the 1983 Drakkar bombing in Beirut, which cost life to 58 soldiers. The accident occurred in the evening. Sources told AFP that a Tiger helicopter had collided with a Cougar maneuver and assault helicopter.
This accident brings to 38 the number of French soldiers killed in Mali since the beginning of the French intervention in this country of the Sahel in 2013, with Operation Serval.