November 28, 2019 / 4:52 PM / 16 days ago

Islamic State says it caused French army helicopter collision in Mali

FILE PHOTO: A soldier pays tribute to his late commanders at Gao French Army base, after thirteen French soldiers were killed when their helicopters collided at low altitude as they swooped in to support ground forces engaged in combat with Islamist militants, in Gao, Mali November 27, 2019. Etat-major des armees/Handout via REUTERS

DAKAR (Reuters) - Islamic State said on Thursday that its West African branch had caused a helicopter collision in Mali in which 13 French soldiers were killed this week, but it did not provide any evidence for its claim, the SITE intelligence group reported.

The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) said the helicopters collided after one of them retreated under fire from ISWAP fighters, according to a statement shared by U.S.-based SITE, which monitors jihadist websites.

Reporting by Aaron Ross; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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