1 troop killed, 6 hurt in crash

De­tails un­clear on copter downed in Afghanistan

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - NATION | WORLD - By Mujib Mashal

KABUL, Afghanistan — A U.S. ser­vice mem­ber was killed and six oth­ers wounded in a he­li­copter crash south of Kabul, the U.S. mil­i­tary com­mand in Afghanistan said in a state­ment Satur­day.

The mil­i­tary pro­vided lit­tle de­tail on the cir­cum­stances of the crash, which the state­ment said hap­pened late Fri­day in Logar prov­ince.

The Tal­iban claimed early Satur­day that their fight­ers had downed a U.S. he­li­copter in the prov­ince’s Khar­war district, where it was to be part of a joint op­er­a­tion with Afghan com­man­dos. The U.S. mil­i­tary con­firmed an in­ci­dent within hours but said it was “not the re­sult of en­emy ac­tion” and that “we have full ac­count­abil­ity of all per­son­nel.” Later in the day, the mil­i­tary sent out an­other state­ment an­nounc­ing the ser­vice mem­ber’s death and say­ing that the cir­cum­stances of the crash were un­der investigation.

“We are deeply sad­dened by the loss of our com­rade,” said Gen. John W. Ni­chol­son, com­man­der of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for po­lice in Logar prov­ince said one mem­ber of the Afghan spe­cial forces was also wounded in the crash, which had forced the can­cel­la­tion of the op­er­a­tion.

As the war in Afghanistan con­tin­ues to grow more vi­o­lent, and the Tal­iban in­tro­duces dead­lier tac­tics, the Afghan se­cu­rity forces have borne the brunt of the at­tacks, suf­fer­ing losses some Afghan and West­ern of­fi­cials fear they may strug­gle to sus­tain.

Un­der its new strat­egy, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has promised to send more mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers and train­ers to Afghanistan: Fewer than 9,000 have been pub­licly de­clared to be present, but the num­ber may be closer to 12,000.

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