December 2, 2019 / 10:32 AM / 8 days ago

Majority of French support country's Mali military operation: poll

The hearses with the coffins of late thirteen French soldiers killed in Mali stand in front of the Grand Palais during a funeral convoy before a ceremony at the Hotel National des Invalides in Paris, France, December 2, 2019. French soldiers Julien Carrette, Benjamin Gireud, Romain Salles de Saint-Paul, Clement Frison-Roche, Nicolas Megard, Romain Chomel de Jarnieu, Pierre Bockel, Alex Morisse, Jeremy Leusie, Alexandre Protin, Antoine Serre, Valentin Duval, Andrei Jouk died in Mali when their helicopters collided in the dark last week as they hunted for Islamist militants. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - Fifty-eight percent of French people back the country’s military operations in Mali, despite last week’s army helicopter crash that resulted in the deaths of 13 troops, said a survey on Monday.

“The level of support from French people remains very stable,” said Jerome Fourquet, who helped carry out the survey for Ifop, which was published in La Lettre de l’Expansion.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the military to review its operations against Islamist militants in West Africa and pressed his allies to do more after the 13 soldiers died during their combat mission.

A national ceremony for the 13 dead soldiers is due to take place in Paris later on Monday.

Reporting by Caroline Pailliez and Sudip Kar-Gupta

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