Chopper crash kills 11 in Afghanistan, including at least 3 Americans


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KABUL, Afghanistan -- A NATO helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing 11 people, including at least three American troops, the Western military said.

The other dead included four NATO service members whose nationalities were not immediately disclosed, three members of the Afghan security forces and one Afghan civilian interpreter, according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF.


Afghan officials said the crash site was in Shah Wali Kot, a restive district of Kandahar province.

The NATO force said the cause of the chopper crash was under investigation, and was tight-lipped about whether insurgent fire had been reported in the area. Usually, the military makes a quick announcement if there is no indication the craft was brought down by enemy fire, and if factors such as weather or mechanical failure are suspected.

The Taliban and other groups have only rarely been able to bring down Western helicopters during the decade-old war, but manage to do so occasionally, often with significant fatalities. The war’s most lethal single incident for U.S. troops came a year ago when insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter in Wardak province, killing all 38 aboard, including 30 Americans, some of whom were elite Navy SEALs.


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-- Laura King