Four Tunisian soldiers died when a military helicopter crashed into the sea off the country's northwest, President Kais Saied said Thursday, stressing the need "to renew military equipment". Offering his condolences to the bereaved families, the president said in a meeting with Defence Minister Imed Memmiche that "the accident cost the lives of four army men" , according to an official statement.
Earlier the defence ministry had spoken of two bodies recovered from the sea. The ministry said "communications have been lost with a helicopter which was making a night flight in the Cape Serrat area yesterday (Wednesday) evening" with a crew of four aboard. The Tunisian military has lost a number of aircraft on training or reconnaissance missions in recent years. In October 2021, three soldiers were killed when an army helicopter crashed during a night exercise in the southern province of Gabes.
The findings of an official investigation into that incident have still not been released. Saied spoke of "the need to renew military equipment," while stressing that this type of incident occurs "in any country". He added that "a certain amount of equipment in Tunisia has deteriorated, which has led and continues to lead to such tragedies".