Saturday, August 6, 2011

ISAF copter goes down in Afghanistan

Source: Press TV

Taliban militants say they have shot down a helicopter operated by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in southeastern Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the militants successfully targeted the aircraft on Saturday in the Musakhel district of Khost province, and all those on board were killed in the incident, the Pajhwok news agency reported.

However, ISAF dismissed the Taliban's claim, saying a mechanical failure forced the helicopter to make an emergency landing.

The Western military alliance added that all the crewmembers were rescued and there were no casualties in the incident.

Meanwhile, 31 US special operation troops and seven Afghan commandos were killed when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in the early hours of Saturday morning in the eastern province of Wardak.

The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in an attack on a house where militants had gathered.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai made the first announcement of the number of people killed in the crash and the presence of US special operations troops.

US President Barack Obama also commented on the crash.

"Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan," Obama said in a statement issued on Saturday.

It was the highest death toll in a single incident for foreign forces deployed in Afghanistan since the US-led war began in 2001.

A total of 374 foreign troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year, according to

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