Eid Al Adha

French combat jet crashes in Mali, crew recovered- army

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A French Mirage warplane crashed in an uninhabited area of central Mali on Tuesday after suffering a technical malfunction, but its two crew ejected and were quickly recovered, the French army said.

The plane was carrying out surveillance near the town of Homburi in support of ground troops from France’s Barkhane anti-terrorism force and Malian soldiers.

The crashed aircraft was located and four helicopters were sent to recover the pilot and weapons officer, the army’s press office in Paris said.

One of the two was slightly injured and brought to a French military base in Gao.

Barkhane is part of an eight-year-old French military deployment to combat jihadists in the Sahel.

Their bloody campaign has progressively moved from northern to central Mali, then into Niger and Burkina Faso, claiming thousands of lives and forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes.

President Emmanuel Macron announced this month that France would start closing its Mali bases before the end of the year, and most of the 5,100 French soldiers deployed in the region will return home under a strategic revamp, giving European allies a bigger role.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke/CGTN

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