October 10, 2016

7 dead as Afghan Air Force helicopter crashes in Baghlan

An Afghan Air Force (AAF) helicopter crashed in the Dand-i-Ghori district of northern Baghlan province on Sunday, killing at least seven personnel, the Ministry of Defence said.

The Mi-17 helicopter, flying supplies to an army camp in Qarghan Tapa area, went down due to a technical fault at 4am, a statement from the ministry said. The dead included four crewmembers and three soldiers.

One security official, requesting not to be named, confided to Pajhwok Afghan News the chopper was delivering supplies to around 200 soldiers, who have been besieged by Taliban in the area for the last four days.

He claimed the copter was shot down with a rocket by the Taliban fighters in the area early in the morning. The crash triggered a clash, which was still ongoing, the source said, adding the scene had been cordoned off.

At least two security personnel were killed and eight others wounded in fighting over the past four days. Qarghan Tapa is a mountainous area on northwestern outskirts of Pul-i-Khumiri." An investigation into the incident has been launched.

Meanwhile, The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement the helicopter it was shot down by the movement’s fighters.

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