Afghan army he­li­copter crashes; eight are killed

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Eight Afghan sol­diers were killed early Sun­day morn­ing when a mil­i­tary he­li­copter crashed in north­ern Bagh­lan prov­ince, of­fi­cials said.

Afghan De­fense Min­istry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said that five crew mem­bers and three army sol­diers were killed in the crash.

The crash took place in Dand Ghori district while the he­li­copter was sup­ply­ing a mil­i­tary base, he said. Waziri blamed a tech­ni­cal prob­lem with the air­craft and said he re­jected any claims by in­sur­gents to have downed the he­li­copter.

One he­li­copter was on the ground while a sec­ond was pa­trolling when “sud­denly a tech­ni­cal prob­lem caused the he­li­copter to catch fire and hit the ground,” Waziri said.

How­ever, Tal­iban spokesman Zabi­hul­lah Mu­jahid is­sued a state­ment claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for down­ing the he­li­copter, say­ing the air­craft was shot down by fight­ers.

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