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Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:53 UK

US helicopter 'downed by Taleban'

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A US military helicopter has made an emergency landing in Afghanistan amid reports that militants shot it down.

No one was seriously injured in the "hard landing" in the north-eastern province of Nuristan on Monday night, coalition forces said.

The Taleban say they shot the helicopter down.

Separately, the coalition says troops killed 12 Taleban fighters in southern Helmand province, an opium production centre and insurgent stronghold.

'Ground fire'

The US military says the helicopter has been taken to a coalition base.

"The cause of the helicopter incident is still under investigation. However, initial reports indicated it may have been caused by some form of ground fire," a statement said, the AFP news agency reports.

"No one aboard the aircraft sustained significant injuries."

In southern Helmand, fresh clashes and air strikes killed a dozen Taleban fighters, the coalition said.

Troops had come under fire during a search operation in Garmser district.




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