3 killed in military helicopter crash at Niamey airport

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Three people have been confirmed killed as a Nigerien military helicopter crashed while landing at a military base at Niamey airport on Monday.

The Nigerien defense ministry confirmed in a statement that the crash occurred as the Russian-built Mi-17 chopper was returning from a routine training flight.

According to the statement, “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.

The statement also revealed that an investigation has been launched to ascertain the cause.

Niger Republic, Nigeria’s neighbouring West African nation, is the world’s poorest country by the benchmark of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI).

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.

The country is also 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 defense ministry separately revealed in a statement on Monday that “25 terrorists were killed last week from an air strike in the western region of Tillaberi”.

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