Three French soldiers have been killed in Libya, officials have said, also confirming for the first time that members of France’s special forces are engaged in operations in the North African country. rench President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday the three soldiers had been killed in a helicopter crash during an intelligence-gathering operation. “At this moment we are carrying out dangerous intelligence operations [in Libya],” Hollande said in a speech.
France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that he regretted “the loss of three French officers who died while on mission in Libya” – but gave no further information as to where or how the troops were killed. Earlier on Wednesday, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll provided the first official confirmation that members of the French special forces were operating in Libya, which has been in turmoil since 2011 following the uprising that led to the removal and killing of Muammar Gaddafi. “Special forces are there, of course, to help and to make sure France is present everywhere in the struggle against terrorists,” Le Foll said.