14 people killed in helicopter crashes in AfghanistanOctober 27th, 2009 - 12:48 am ICT by IANS
Kabul, Oct 26 (DPA) Fourteen people, including 10 US citizens, were killed Monday in helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, one of which was believed to be a mid-air collision between two aircraft, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.
Ten US citizens - seven soldiers and three civilians - were killed when a helicopter crashed in western Afghanistan, it said without specifying the location.
It said the cause of the accident was unknown but it was not believed to be the result of militant action.
Fourteen Afghan troops, 11 US soldiers and one US civilian were also injured.
The crash occurred after a raid on a compound where suspected militants involved in the narcotics trade were located, the ISAF said, adding that more than a dozen rebels were killed in the raid.
Mohammad Jabar, a police official in western Badghis province, identified the location as Muqur district.
He said 25 insurgents were killed in the firefight, and that a helicopter transporting troops away from the combat crashed in the province afterward. US soldiers destroyed the helicopter on the spot, Jabar added.
This year has been the deadliest for US troops and other NATO troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 ouster of the Taliban regime.
More than 420 soldiers, including 256 US troops, have so far been killed in 2009, according to iCasualties.org, a website that tracks military casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, without counting the latest deaths.
Monday’s deaths took to 18 the number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan since Saturday. More than 100,000 international troops, with over 60,000 of them US forces, are currently stationed in Afghanistan.
In the southern region, two ISAF helicopters were believed to have crashed in mid-air, killing four US soldiers, the ISAF and US military said.
Hostile fire was not involved in the accident, which also injured two soldiers, the ISAF said.
Elsewhere in the country, two Afghan army soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb in southern province of Helmand on Sunday, a Defence Ministry statement said.
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