Tunisian President Kais Saied announced, on Thursday, that four Tunisian soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in the sea on Wednesday evening, northwest of Tunisia, saying that “it is necessary to renew military equipment.”
Offering his condolences to the families, the president explained during an interview with Defense Minister Imad Mameesh, “The accident claimed the lives of four men from the army,” according to an official press release.
The Ministry of Defense had announced earlier that the plane “fell into the sea” on Wednesday evening and that “two bodies have been recovered so far, in addition to pieces of debris.”
The ministry stated that contact with the helicopter was lost “while it was on a night flight in the Cap Sirat area near Bizerte.”
According to the authorities, “all land, sea and air resources have been mobilized in coordination with the Ministry of Interior to carry out the inspection.”
Specialized units of Navy divers were contracted to find the bodies of the plane’s passengers.
Similar incidents have already occurred in recent years in Tunisia during exercises or reconnaissance missions.
In this regard, the President discussed with the Minister “the necessity of renewing military equipment.”
Mr. Saeed stressed that this type of accident occurs “in any country,” and pointed to “the deterioration of a number of equipment in Tunisia, which led and continues to lead to such tragedies.”
In October 2021, three soldiers were killed in a military helicopter crash during a night exercise in the governorate of Gabes (south).
The ministry opened an investigation to find out the causes of the accident, but its results have not been announced yet.