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2 Dutch peacekeepers killed in helicopter crash in Mali

kapitein-rene-zeetsen---eerste-luitenant-ernst-mollinger(B2) A helicopter Dutch Apache striker - serving with the UN force in Mali (MINUMA) crashed on Tuesday afternoon (March 17) during an exercise, killing its crew, confirmed the Dutch Ministry of Defense, in a press release.

In a training exercise

The accident occurred 47 km north of the Dutch camp in Gao. The AH-64 helicopter was training with another Dutch Apache to do " shooting practice with ground targets on uninhabited terrain “says the Minister of Defense. The pilots immediately landed and administered first aid. A French combat helicopter came to the rescue to secure the crash site. Too late for the captain Rene Zeetsen (30 years old) killed instantly. The other soldier First Lieutenant Ernst Mollinger (26)Was seriously injured. Transferred to the French military hospital in Gao, iHe died of his injuries.

In charge of intelligence for the Minusma

The two victims belonged to the 301st Defense Helicopter Commando Squadron, based in Gilze-Rijen. The Dutch "helicopter" detachment is composed of 3 other Apache helicopters and 3 Chinook helicopters. A unit specifically tasked with gathering, together with Special Forces and other personnel, intelligence for the UN mission. In total, approximately 450 Dutch soldiers contribute to MINUSMA. 


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).