Two Dutch airmen dead in Mali helicopter crash: officials

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AMSTERDAM/DAKAR – Two Dutch airmen died after an Apache attack helicopter serving with United Nations peacekeeping mission Mali crashed north country on afternoon, Dutch officials and the U.N. said.
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Captain Rene Zeetsen, 30, killed the crash and First Lieutenant Ernst Mollinger, 26, died later a field hospital Gao from his wounds, Tom Middendorp, the head the Dutch forces, told a news conference.
The U.N. mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said in a the accident took place during an exercise conducted by the Dutch contingent about 42 km (26 miles) north the town Gao.
“The two crew members lost their lives in this accident,” it said. “A medical immediately deployed to the site of the accident, but not able to save the helicopter’ crew.”
The Netherlands has been involved in the U.N. mission in Mali since last year. Its armed forces have contributed four Apaches and three Chinook transport helicopters. (REUTERS)