* 13 French soldiers died when two helicopters collided in Mali a week ago while chasing down jihadist rebels
* Thousands of people attended a national ceremony to mark the deaths, which was led by Emmanuel Macron
* Former French Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy also attended the ceremony in Paris
* France has 4,500 troops in Mali, fighting seven-year battle against Islamists that has flared in recent months
Thousands of people including Emmanuel Macron, Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy gathered in Paris on Monday to honour 13 French soldiers killed while fighting jihadist insurgents in Mali.
A motorcade containing the soldiers’ remains crossed the Alexandre III bridge to the Invalides military hospital and museum, before the coffins were draped with French flags and displayed outside the building.
Macron inspected the coffins before bestowing each soldier with the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honour.
The soldiers died when two helicopters collided last Monday while pursuing jihadists in northern Mali where militant violence has soared in recent months.
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France’s Macron pays respects to soldiers killed in Mali, says battle goes on — Reuters
Macron honours ‘sacrifice’ of 13 French soldiers killed in Mali — AFP
France Pays Homage to 13 Soldiers Killed in Mali Air Crash — VOA/AP
In Pictures: Streets fall silent as Parisians line up to mourn 13 soldiers killed in Mali — Independent.ie