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French defense minister goes to Mali after 13 soldier deaths


AP Bamako (Mali)
French defense minister Florence Parly is expected to visit northern Mali after a helicopter collision killed 13 French soldiers fighting Islamic State group-linked extremists.
Her visit to Gao on Wednesday comes a day after France announced its highest military death toll in nearly four decades.
An investigation has begun into the cause of the collision on a moonless night Monday while two helicopters were supporting French commandos on the ground. The military said the helicopters were flying very low.
Some in Mali have criticized the French military's presence in the West African nation as the extremist threat grows and spreads into neighboring countries. Some even question whether the crash was an accident.
France's operation in West and Central Africa is its largest overseas military mission and involves 4,500 personnel.

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First Published: Nov 27 2019 | 8:05 PM IST

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