Helicopter collision takes the lives of 13 French soldiers

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A helicopter collision in Mali has taken the lives of 13 French soldiers in France's worst military loss in four decades.

On Monday evening, a French Tiger attack helicopter was reinforcing troops on the ground chasing after militants in Mali when the helicopter collided with a Cougar military transport helicopter around 7:40 p.m. local time.

The incident occurred near the Mali's border at Burkina Faso and Niger.

The two aircraft crashed near each other, killing all 13 French soldiers on board, including an officer and six commandos, according to the BBC.

An investigation has been launched to discover the cause of the collision, the heaviest single French military loss since a 1983 attack in Beirut killed 58 paratroopers.

In a tweet, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed "deep sadness" and called the soldiers "heroes."

French lawmakers observed a minute of silence for the fallen soldiers on Tuesday.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. French Tiger attack helicopter reinforcing ground troops who were chasing after militants
2. The helicopter colliding with a Cougar military transport helicopter
3. Where the incident occurred
4. Crashes and casualties

VOICEOVER (in English):

"On Monday evening, a French Tiger attack helicopter was reinforcing troops on the ground chasing after militants in Mali …

… when the helicopter collided with a Cougar military transport helicopter around 7:40 p.m. local time."

"The incident occurred near the Mali's border at Burkina Faso and Niger."

"According to the BBC, the two aircraft crashed near each other, killing all 13 French soldiers on board, including an officer and six commandos."

"An investigation has been launched to discover the cause of the collision, the heaviest single French military loss since a 1983 attack in Beirut killed 58 paratroopers."

SOURCES: BBC News, Reuters, Associated Press, France 24
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-50557511
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-mali-military/french-mali-troops-died-after-tigre-and-cougar-helicopters-collided-idUSKBN1Y00ZY
https://apnews.com/9bc294a465f147a2ad77eefbf9f35f4a
https://www.france24.com/en/20191126-thirteen-french-soldiers-killed-in-mali-helicopter-accident