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Military helicopter crashes, kills three in Niger

By Kingsley Ugwu 

A military helicopter belonging to Niger Republic on Monday, crashed while making its landing at a military base at Niamey airport, killing three persons in the process.

The Nigerien Defence Ministry made this known in a statement yesterday, noting that the accident involved a Russian-built Mi-17 chopper returning from a routine training exercise.

The military authorities in the country said, “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.” 

According to the Defense Ministry, an investigation has been instituted to unravel the cause(s) of the mishap.

It would be recalled that the West African neighbouring country to Nigeria is ranked by the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) as the poorest country in the world.

Like Nigeria, the country is facing security challenges but continues to fortify its military in the face of jihadist insurgencies in the southwest and southeast of the country.

Source says, about 25 terrorists were killed last week in an air strike within the western Tillaberi region of the country; with France and the United States providing major training and logistical support, while Belgium, Italy and Germany add to the list of counties aiding her in the fight against terrorism.

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