France: Paris pays tribute to 13 soldiers killed in Mali helicopter crash

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Around 2,500 people gathered in Paris on Monday, to pay tribute to 13 soldiers killed in a helicopter accident during a combat operation in Mali on November 26.

Footage shows soldiers and police parading down the French capital’s Alexandre III Bridge while being applauded by the public.

“This is a great tragedy for the country and it was my duty to pay tribute to those people today,” said Paris resident Dominique.

“If we do not have this military presence in Mali, the jihadist wave will only get worse in the centre of Africa, in the sub-Saharan region and even in the South of Africa, and that will be another breeding ground for terrorism,” said Paris resident Jacques.

According to the French Army, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) is the main group operating in the combat area where the accident took place.

France’s Operation Barkhane started in 2014 with 3,000 soldiers spread across Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, including 1,000 in Mali, focused on combating militant groups in the north of the country.

Video ID: 20191202-050

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