November 26, 2019 / 1:42 PM / in 6 months

France will not be deterred in fight against terrorism: defence minister

French Defense Minister Florence Parly attends a news conference in Paris, France, November 26, 2019 after thirteen French soldiers were killed in Mali when their helicopters collided at low altitude as they swooped in to support ground forces engaged in combat with Islamist militants. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France will not turn its back on the fight against terrorism after thirteen French soldiers were killed during a combat operation in Mali, Defence Minister Florence Parly said on Tuesday.

“We receive valuable support from our European allies and join forces to protect Europe from the scourge of terrorism”, Parly told a press conference.

“We stand tall, united, resilient. It is this solidarity which strengthens us, which allows us to continue the fight,” the minister added.

The French soldiers were killed as they swooped in at nightfall to support ground forces engaged in combat with Islamist militants. It was the biggest loss of French troops in a single day since an attack in Beirut 36 years ago when 58 soldiers died.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Matthieu Protard; editing by Richard Lough

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