13 French troopers had been killed when two helicopters collided throughout an operation in opposition to jihadists in Mali, the French president’s workplace stated.
Monday’s accident is among the worst losses of life for the French army in a long time.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “deep unhappiness” over the incident. An investigation has begun.
In 2013, France deployed hundreds of troops to Mali after Islamist militants seized big elements of the north.
Mali’s military has since recaptured the territory however insecurity there continues and the violence has unfold to different nations within the area.
France now has 4,500 troops deployed to help the forces of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad in opposition to Islamist militants.
The precise circumstances of Monday’s incident are unclear however defence ministry sources informed the AFP information company a Tiger assault helicopter collided with a Cougar army transport.
Among the many lifeless are six officers and a grasp corporal.
“These 13 heroes had only one goal: to protect us,” President Macron wrote in a tweet. “I bow to the ache of their family members and comrades.”
One other French soldier, Brigadier Ronan Pointeau, was killed earlier this month after an explosive gadget detonated close to his car.
In complete 38 French troopers have been killed in Mali because the nation first intervened.