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Thu Aug 16, 2012, 12:05 PM

11 Killed in American Copter Crash in South Afghanistan [View all]

By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
Published: August 16, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Seven American soldiers and three Afghan soldiers and an interpreter were killed after daybreak on Thursday when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan, said the American-led military command here.

A spokesman for the Taliban said the group had shot the helicopter down, but American officials said there was no indication yet that enemy fire was the cause. The helicopter crashed in a Taliban-controlled area in the northern part of Kandahar Province known as Shah Wali Kot at about 10 a.m. on Thursday, an official at the Kandahar provincial governor’s office said.

Maj. Martyn Crighton of the Army, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Kabul, said it was not yet clear whether mechanical failure or Taliban fire was responsible.

“Currently, there is no operational reporting that indicates the helicopter was brought down by enemy fire,” Major Crighton said. But he added that “it is far too early in the investigation to make any definitive statement about what caused the accident.” He said everyone on board the helicopter was killed, and he confirmed that the crash occurred in Kandahar Province. But he declined to specify the precise location, saying that recovery and investigative operations may still be under way.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/asia/11-killed-in-american-copter-crash-in-south-afghanistan.html

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