We mourn the death of Bundeswehr soldiers

Helicopter crashes in Mali We mourn the death of Bundeswehr soldiers

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen have expressed their deepest sympathy to the families of the two Bundeswehr soldiers killed when their helicopter crashed in Mali. "The entire Bundeswehr mourns the loss of these brave soldiers," declared Ursula von der Leyen.

Two Tiger combat helicopters land in Gao/Mali on 25 March 2017 as part of the MINUSMA mission.

Two Bundeswehr soldiers died when a Tiger combat helicopter (archive photo) crashed in Mali

Photo: Bundeswehr/Marc Tessensohn

The Chancellor received the news that a Bundeswehr helicopter had crashed on Tuesday afternoon. "On behalf of the entire German government, the Chancellor conveys her deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the two soldiers killed," reported deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer.

"Their death is a painful loss"

On Tuesday evening Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that neither of the two helicopter pilots had survived the crash in Mali. "Their mandate was helping to ensure our security," said the Federal Defence Minister. "The entire Bundeswehr mourns the loss of these brave soldiers. Their death is a painful loss. I would like to say to their families and friends, we stand by you at this difficult time, and we share your grief. The Bundeswehr will do all it can to support you," she stressed.

The Tiger helicopter crashed about 70 kilometres north of Gao. The soldiers belonged to the Bundeswehr contingent deployed as part of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The cause of the crash is still unknown and is being investigated.