"At around 1 p.m. [GMT], an Apache attack helicopter of MINUSMA had to make a hard landing about 42 kilometres [26 miles] north of Gao [in northern Mali]. The two crew members lost their lives in this accident, which took place during an exercise conducted by MINUSMA's Dutch contingent in this area," the mission's statement published on its website Tuesday said.
The UN added a medical team was dispatched to the site of the accident immediately, but was unable to save the crew.
"The Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of MINUSMA, Mr. Mongi Hamdi, extends its deepest condolences to the Government of the Netherlands and to the families of the two soldiers who lost their lives in this tragic accident," the UN said.
It stated that Dutch and MINUSMA special investigators will be deployed on the scene to establish the circumstances of the deadly accident.