African news. Three people were killed in a helicopter crash at a army base near Niamey. A Niger Armed Forces MI-17 helicopter, returning from a routine training flight, crashed while landing on the military airstrip from Niamey airport,” the Nigerien Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
“Unfortunately the three crew members – an officer and a non-commissioned officer from Niger and an expatriate instructor – died on the spot despite the efforts of the emergency services to contain the fire,” it added.
A commission of inquiry was set up immediately to determine the cause of the tragic accident.
Niger has been in the past trying to beef up its army which has been fighting jihadist violence since 2015 on its immense territory, much of it being a desert.
Several parts are affected: the west, close to Mali and Burkina Faso where Al-Qaeda and other militant group are present, and the south-east bordering Lake Chad and Nigeria, which has become a hideout for militants.
The border area between Northern Benin and Southern Niger has so far been spared and has in turn turned into a war zone for several months with the jihadist threat, according to the authorities.
According to Von, Nigeria’s minister of defence announced that 25 terrorists were killed last week after an airstrike in the region of Tillabéri in western Niger.
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