July 14, 2009 / 1:44 PM / 10 years ago

6 Ukrainians die on Moldovan chopper in Afghanistan

CHISINAU, July 14 (Reuters) - Authorities in Moldova on Tuesday said a missile had shot down a Soviet-made Mi-26 helicopter in Afghanistan that belonged to an aviation company in the ex-Soviet state, killing six Ukrainians on board.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban, leading the insurgency against foreign troops and the Afghan government, said it had shot down a Chinook helicopter in southern Helmand province. It was uncertain whether the two reports referred to the same incident.

The Moldovan statement said the Mi-26, a large transport and cargo helicopter, was on a humanitarian mission for NATO-led forces when it was hit. It said the aircraft belonged to the Pectox-Air aviation firm.

The statement gave no details on where the incident had occurred, but said a six-member Ukrainian crew had died.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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