French military plane crashes in Mali

Pilot, navigating officer on board evacuated aircraft before crash, says French army

Aurore Bonny   | 20.07.2021
French military plane crashes in Mali FILE PHOTO

LOME, Togo 

A French fighter jet crashed after its crew ejected safely in the Mopti region of Mali on Tuesday, the French military said in a statement.

"During an air support mission for a Desert Battle Group in the Hombori region, a Mirage 2000D suffered damage that required the ejection of the crew (a pilot and a weapons system navigator officer)," the French military said.

One of the two crew members on board was "slightly injured" and the other is "safe and sound," said the statement.

They were recovered and evacuated to the eastern city of Gao thanks to a "security device" established by a commando group "immediately engaged on board two Caiman helicopters, supported by two Tiger helicopters," it added.

According to the French military body, the wreckage of the plane, which "crashed in an uninhabited area, has been located by the Barkhane force" and "an investigation will be initiated to clarify the origin of this accident."

France has supported Mali in counterterrorism efforts for several years through Operation Barkhane, which French President Emmanuel Macron has said will end by 2022.​​​​​​​

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