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  1. #1
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    Default 31 US Troops Die In Helo Crash

    Thirty-one U.S. special operation troops and 7 Afghan soldiers were killed when a NATO helicopter crashed in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai said Saturday.

    It was the highest number of casualties recorded in a single incident in Afghanistan.

    Karzai said in a statement on Saturday that he had sent a message to President Barack Obama about the incident.

    "A NATO helicopter crashed last night in Wardak province," Karzai said in the statement, which said the dead were members of the special forces. "President Karzai expressed his deep condolences because of this incident and expressed his sympathy to Barack Obama."

    NATO confirmed the overnight crash and said the alliance was conducting a recovery operation at the site and investigating the cause of the crash, but did not release details or a casualty figure. The coalition said there "was enemy activity in the area."

    "We are aware of an incident involving a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a NATO spokesman. "We are in the process of accessing the facts."

    A military official told The New York Times that the Chinook helicopter had been shot down by insurgents. The paper said the official spoke on condition of anonymity because the crash was still being investigated.


    The helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, the official told the Times, in the Tangi valley of Wardak Province.

    Two-hour firefight
    Gen. Abdul Qayoom Baqizoy, police chief of Wardak, told the Times that the joint NATO-Afghan operation began around 1 a.m. Saturday with an attack on a Taliban compound in the village of Jaw-e-mekh Zareen.

    He said the resulting firefight lasted at least two hours.

    "It was at the end of the operation that one of the NATO helicopters crashed," he said. "We don't know yet the cause of the crash and we don't know how many NATO soldiers were on board," he told the Times.

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    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed the downed aircraft was a U.S. military helicopter and that the Taliban fighters had brought it down with a rocket attack.

    In a written statement released Saturday, Mujahid said that NATO attacked a house in Sayd Abad where insurgent fighters were gathering Friday night.

    Mujahid said the Taliban fired on NATO and downed the helicopter, killing all the crew. He said eight insurgents also died.

    The Times said Mujahid said the helicopter was shot down at 11 p.m. Friday local time.

    "The fresh reports from the site tells us that there are still Americans doing search operations for the bodies and pieces of the helicopter are on the ground," he said, according to the paper.

    Aircraft crashes are relatively frequent in Afghanistan, where insecurity and difficult terrain make air travel essential for coalition forces transporting troops and equipment.

    There have been at least 17 coalition and Afghan aircraft crashes in Afghanistan this year.

    Most of the crashes are attributed to pilot errors, weather conditions or mechanical failures.

    However, the coalition has confirmed that at least one CH-47F Chinook helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade on July 25. Two coalition crew members were injured in that attack.

    in June 2005, 16 American troops were killed when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Kunar province after apparently being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

    At NATO headquarters in Brussels, an official said it was a twin-rotor Chinook helicopter. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was receiving his information from an Afghan officer in Kabul.

  2. #2
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    lol @ my copy and paste fail

  3. #3

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    A sad day, 31 lives lost. My condolences go out to the service members families in this time of sadness. We shall reap a just revenge.

  4. #4
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    "ABC News said 25 Navy Seals were on board, plus seven Afghan special forces soldiers, five crew and one interpreter."
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14430735

 

 

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