A helicopter carrying reinforcements to help the ground troops attempted to land at the ambush site, but “caliphate soldiers fired at the aircraft, forcing it to retreat and finally entered in collision with another helicopter causing the death of 13 soldiers.

The two French military helicopters collided on Monday during a night-fighting operation against jihadists in southern Mali. According to the French army, they had been called in support of paratroopers commandos engaged against enemies, in a sector where the French anti-jihadist force Barkhane regularly conducts operations against armed groups, including the group Islamic State in the Great Sahara (EIGS).

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