Welcome to The Malaya Daily. from lazacode.com

Sunday, 7 August 2011

NATO helicopter shot down in Afghanistan: official

US Marine tries to take cover, perched on a container, trying to shelter from the dust as a Chinook helicopter arrives to pick up supplies at Forward Operating Base Edi in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan, in this June 9, 2011 file photo. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, File)
A NATO helicopter that crashed in eastern Afghanistan killing dozens of U.S. soldiers and seven Afghan troops was apparently shot down by insurgents, says a senior U.S. official.

Thirty-one U.S. soldiers are said to have died in the crash, the highest number of American casualties killed during a single incident in the decade-long war. The administration official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

In a statement released by his office, Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that the NATO chopper had crashed in the Sayd Abad district of Afghanistan's Wardak province, a restive area that borders the country's capital Kabul.

Karzai also expressed sympathy to U.S. President Barack Obama in the message, extending his "deep condolences" to the American president.

In a statement, Obama said the crash is a reminder of the "extraordinary sacrifices" made by U.S. service men and women and their families. Obama, who is spending the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat, also paid tribute to the Afghan troops who lost their lives in the incident.

Earlier Saturday, Taliban militants had claimed to have brought the helicopter down with a rocket attack, but NATO said the cause of the crash was not known.

NATO did say that there "was enemy activity in the area" at the time of the crash. The organization said it was conducting a recovery operation at the site, but did not provide further details.



Post a Comment