Thirteen French soldiers have been reportedly killed in a helicopter crash in Mali, according to the French presidency.
The soldiers were conducting an operation against jihadists in Mali when their helicopter crashed.
The French president’s office said in a statement that the accident happened on Monday evening.
French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed his “deep sadness” over the incident.
The French president’s office did not also disclose how the crash occurred.
13 French soldiers killed in Mali on Monday evening, on a combat mission to fight jihadists. The 2 helicopters they were travelling in crashed (no word yet on how): statement by French presidency
— Catherine Norris-Trent (@cntrentF24) November 26, 2019
French troops have helping Mali’s army to fight Islamist militants who have taken over the north of the country.
The territory was recaptured by Mali’s army with the help of France but insecurity still persists in Mali.
Mali is still struggling to contain militant groups with links to al Qaeda or Islamic State constantly carrying out attacks across the Sahel.
Most parts of Mali has been characterized by violence and conflict since 2012.
Mali’s ethnic crisis has often been exploited by Jihadist groups as well to boost recruitment and operations.