Six U.S. soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

KABUL Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:45am EST

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KABUL (Reuters) - Six U.S. soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, NATO said, the largest death toll in a single incident to hit the international force in months.

"The cause of the crash is under investigation; however, initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time," a NATO statement said.

U.S. defense officials said the soldiers killed in the crash, which occurred in Afghanistan's southern Zabul province, were American. One person survived the crash but suffered injuries.

Zabul's deputy governor, Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar, said a crash had taken place in the Shah Joy district of Zabul.

A Taliban spokesman claimed on Twitter that Taliban militants had shot down a helicopter on Tuesday in the same district. The Taliban often claims responsibility for incidents in which it is not involved.

Aircraft crashes are not uncommon in mountainous Afghanistan.

The worst such incident was in August 2011 when the Taliban shot down a transport helicopter, killing all 38 people on board, including 25 U.S. special operations soldiers.

The Pentagon said that about 67,000 NATO-led troops remain in Afghanistan, including about 43,000 from the United States. Foreign forces are looking to curtail their decade-long fight there.

The United States continues to press Afghan President Hamid Karzai to sign a bilateral security deal that would allow Washington to keep some troops in Afghanistan beyond the end of next year.

(Reporting by Dylan Welch and Mirwais Harooni in Kabul, and David Alexander and Missy Ryan in Washington; Editing by Missy Ryan, Jonathan Oatis and John Wallace)

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Comments (10)
Dron wrote:
So the Taliban don’t have any stingers left they got from CIA in 1980′s, and all NATO aircraft in Afghanistan always “crash”, they never get shot down of course.

Dec 17, 2013 10:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
soreleg wrote:
The Taliban still have some of our stingers in their arsenal.

Dec 17, 2013 10:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
GotchaMan wrote:
“A Taliban spokesman claimed on Twitter that Taliban militants had shot down a helicopter on Tuesday in the same district. He then posted two selfies, called Kim Kardashian a whore, and gave shout outs to al qaeda with the hashtag #YOLOJihad.”

Social media, a revolutionary new medium.

Dec 17, 2013 11:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
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