Three people have been confirmed dead after a Nigerien military helicopter crashed on return from a routine training flight.
The accident happened when the Russian-built Mi-17 crashed as it was landing at a military base at Niamey airport.
The country’s defence ministry said the helicopter crashed while landing at an airport in the capital Niamey on Monday, December 26, killing three people on board including an expatriate instructor.
“Unfortunately, all three crewmembers – a Nigerien officer and NCO and an expatriate instructor – died immediately despite efforts by rescue services to put out the fire,” it said in a statement.
Reuters reported that a commission of inquiry has been set up to determine the cause of the accident.
Niger recently vowed to boost its military in the face of jihadist insurgencies in the southwest and southeast of the country.
The country is receiving training and logistical support from France and the United States, which have major air bases in Niger, and from Belgium, Italy, and Germany.
The defence ministry separately said Monday that “25 terrorists” were killed last week “from an air strike” in the western region of Tillaberi.