NATO chopper crashes leaving 10 dead, Taliban claim responsibility

18:22, October 26, 2009      

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Another helicopter of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) crashed in west Afghanistan Monday leaving 10 dead and injuring 26 others, a press release of the military alliance said.

"Today an International Security Joint Force helicopter went down due to unconfirmed reasons in western Afghanistan," the press release added.

It said that "seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians were killed. Those injured include 14 Afghan service members, 11 U.S. service members and one U.S. civilian."

However, it did not specify the exact place of the incident.

Meantime, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi who claims to speak for the Taliban militants in talks with media from an unknown location claimed that Taliban fighters shot down the chopper in Badghis province Sunday night killing all 24 aboard.

He also added that the chopper, a Chinook military helicopter, was crashed in Bom district, killing 24 foreigners.

Ahmadi also claimed that the foreign aircraft in retaliatory action bombarded the area claiming 14 civilians.

No officials from the province were immediately available to make comment.

This is the second air incident on the militancy-hit Afghan space in the single day on Monday.

In the previous incident two helicopters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) collided in the air Monday morning leaving four U.S. soldiers dead and two others injured in southern Afghanistan, said a statement of the alliance earlier.

Taliban purported spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi also claimed responsibility for the incident and said via telephone from an undisclosed location that militants opened fire on a helicopter of ISAF in Helmand province Monday morning and it collided with other as a result both crashed and inflicted casualties.

However, Ahmadi could not say the figure of the fatalities while he claimed on shooting down double choppers at the same time.

Source: Xinhua
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