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Sunday, 7 August 2011

U.S. official: 22 Navy SEALs among 31 killed in Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The U.S. military was reeling Saturday after a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan killed 31 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs, a U.S. military official told CNN Saturday.

It was the single deadliest incident since the start of the decade-long Afghan war, an Army Chinook carrying a team of U.S. special forces and U.S. and Afghan soldiers that went down in Wardak province. Insurgents are believed to have shot down the helicopter, the military official said.

The Navy SEALs who died belonged to the same unit that conducted the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, though they were not the same men, the official said.

"It's a big loss" for the SEALs, one of the officials said. "The numbers are high."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement saying as many as 31 U.S. special forces and seven Afghans were killed.

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