AKIPRESS.COM - Thirteen French soldiers fighting Islamist insurgents in Mali have been killed after two helicopters collided in mid-air, Sky News reports.
No one survived the crash which happened as the aircraft were flying very low and "in total darkness" - making the operation more complex.
This is the deadliest incident involving the French military since 1983, when 58 paratroopers were killed in a truck bombing in Lebanon.
The troops who died in Monday's tragedy in the Liptako region near Niger were helping French commandos on the ground hunting down a group of extremists.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his "deep sadness" and called the soldiers "heroes" who "had only one goal: protecting us".