The soldiers died after two helicopters collided during an operation in the country’s north. According to the Agence France Presse, AFP, the French presidency made this known on Tuesday.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed ‘deep sadness’ at the news of the crash in the Sahel and spoke of the ‘courage of French soldiers.’
The accident occurred on Monday evening while the forces were engaging jihadist fighters who have staged a series of deadly strikes in northern Mali in recent weeks, the Elysee Palace said.
A statement from the Elysee Palace said:
‘The president announces with deep sadness 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 jihadists.’
The circumstances surrounding the accident were not immediately clear. France’s Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said the incident occurred while the helicopters were in flight.