Thu, May 31, 2007
Enemy Fire Believed To Be Cause
Seven servicemembers assigned to NATO's International Security
Assistance Force in Afghanistan are dead after a Chinook helicopter
flying an ISAF mission went down in Helmand province near Kajaki
last night. Officials believe the helicopter was felled by a
"There will be a full investigation,” said Maj. John
Thomas, a spokesman for NATO’s International Security
Assistance Force. "We will try to determine everything that
happened and to fully investigate the site."
The Associated Press reports five US soldiers, a Canadian and a
Briton were onboard the stricken helo.
A unit responding to the scene of the crash was reportedly
attacked by enemy combatants. The patrol called for an air strike
to eliminate that threat, according to NATO sources.
Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi claimed insurgents were behind
the attack late Wednesday, saying "our brothers in Helmand" had
brought down the heavy transport helicopter. "The helicopter burst
into flames in the sky and then crashed."
The last helicopter downing in Afghanistan was in February. As ANN reported, eight
coalition personnel were killed, and 14 others were wounded when a
coalition CH-47 Chinook helicopter had a sudden, unexplained loss
of power and control and crashed in eastern Afghanistan. Officials
have blamed that accident on engine failure.
Two Chinooks were shot down over Afghanistan in a single day in
December 2005, six months after another Chinook was downed as it
was landing in the eastern part of the country.
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