U.S. aircraft crashes in Afghanistan, 4 die

KABUL (Reuters) - A U.S. Air Force Osprey aircraft crashed overnight in Afghanistan, killing three American service members and one civilian employee, the NATO-led international force in the country said on Friday.

The CV-22 Osprey is a hybrid aircraft with giant rotors at the ends of its wings. It takes off and lands like a helicopter and can tilt the rotors to fly like a fixed-wing turbo-prop plane.

The cause of the crash, in southern Zabul province, was not yet known, the international force said in a statement.

The force said the aircraft was carrying U.S. troops at the time of the crash. An undisclosed number of injured people were treated at a nearby base.

There are some 120,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan and that is set to rise to nearly 150,000 by the end of this year as Washington sends in more troops as part of a new strategy to try and quell the mounting violence.

Reporting by Peter Graff; Editing by Sugita Katyal