PARIS, June 10 (KUNA) -- France confirmed on Tuesday that an air force Mirage jet crashed over Niger in Central Africa but both pilots survived after bailing out.
The Defence Ministry's information office said that the plane suffered a technical fault while on a patrol mission over Mali.
The Mirage 2000-D fighter-bomber, which was returning to base in Niger, is one of the most sophisticated in the French Air Force and second only to the high-tech Rafale, which is currently being offered to a number of countries, mainly India, the UAE and several other Gulf nations.
France has several thousand troops deployed in the Central African Republic and the Sahel region, notably in Mali, Central African Republic, Chad and some in Niger to protect French mining interests.
The French military are planning to deploy around 3,000 troops for anti-terrorist duties in the region, some of them in Niger and will also maintain 1,000 troops on stand-by in Mali. (end)