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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 May 2006, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Ten die in Afghan chopper crash
Chinook helicopter
The Chinook is regularly used as a troop carrier in Afghanistan
Ten US soldiers have been killed after their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan late on Friday night, officials from the US-led coalition said.

The CH-47 Chinook came down in Kunar province near a "mountaintop landing zone" 240km (150 miles) east of Kabul.

The soldiers were reportedly involved in operations against the Taleban, although military officials said the crash was not caused by enemy fire.

The crash happened near the provincial capital, Asadabad, close to Pakistan.

No survivors

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There is a large US military base near the town, in the mountainous border terrain.

"The remains of 10 servicemen were found in the aircraft. There were no survivors," Lt Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman for the US-led military coalition, said.

In an earlier statement the US military had said that the CH-47 was conducting operations on a mountain top landing zone when the crash occurred.

"Additional aircraft and crews were also at the landing zone and confirmed that enemy forces did not cause the crash," the statement said.

A man claiming to speak for the Taleban told the BBC the militia had shot it down with a new weapon, but correspondents say claims like this have been unsubstantiated in the past.


A major operation against the Taleban, Operation Mountain Lion, was mounted in Kunar province last month.

However, the BBC's Alastair Leithead says the province is one of the most difficult regions of Afghanistan to operate in, with its narrow and deep forested valleys.

The US military has suffered more casualties there than in any other province, our correspondent says.

Worst incident

It was in Kunar that US forces suffered their worst single loss of life in Afghanistan since they first invaded in 2001 in response to the 9/11 attacks.


One of their helicopters was shot down in late June 2005, killing all 16 special forces and crew on board.

The Chinook had been sent in to rescue a special forces unit on the ground whose mission had been compromised. Three members of that four-man team were also killed.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Friday, two Italian soldiers were killed after their vehicle was hit by a bomb as they were travelling about 20km (12 miles) south of the capital Kabul.

And four Afghans, including two policemen, were also been killed in the southern Helmand province where British troops have just taken over Nato operations.

Details of the crash


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