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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 December, 2004, 07:15 GMT
Six US dead in Afghan plane crash
Bamiyan mountains
The wreckage was found in the mountains in Bamiyan province
Rescuers searching for a US military plane which went missing in Afghanistan have recovered the bodies of six passengers from the crash site.

The US military says the wreckage of the aircraft was found in the central Bamiyan province.

The plane was carrying three civilian crew members and three military passengers.

The Casa 212 plane, which left Kabul on Saturday, was one used by the US Air Force to move troops and equipment.

"The aircraft was located late Tuesday - it was up in the mountains in (central) Bamiyan," military spokesman Major Mark McCann told AFP news agency.

"We also discovered all six people on board died," he said.

Ghulam Mohammed, a senior police official in Bamiyan, said: "They found pieces of the engine and the wheels scattered on top of Baba Mountain, which rises to 5,060m (16,600 ft) and was covered in fresh snow."

No 'hostile fire'

Maj McCann said the cause of the crash was being investigated.

But the US military said there was no indication that the plane had been brought down by hostile fire after taking off from Bagram air base outside the capital, Kabul, on Saturday bound for Shinband in Herat province.

"The indications we have is that it got into a valley and tried to gain altitude quickly," Major General Eric Olson of US military said.

"The pilot apparently recognised that he was not going to be able to gain altitude quickly enough and tried to make a very dramatic turn, didn't make it and crashed into a very narrow valley."

The US has lost several helicopters in crashes in Afghanistan.

The worst crashes were in March 2002 and March 2003, each of which killed six US military personnel.

In the most recent crash, a US HH-60 helicopter crashed in western Afghanistan, killing one American soldier and injuring two.

The US-led coalition has over 17,000 troops hunting Taleban and al-Qaeda militants in Afghanistan.

Boston Globe Conn. soldier among 3 killed in Afghanistan - 9 hrs ago
Irish TimesNine confirmed dead in Afghan crash - 15 hrs ago
ABCNEWS.com 6 Americans Confirmed Dead in Afghan Crash - 19 hrs ago
CBS News Americans At Risk In Afghanistan - 20 hrs ago
USA Today Americans' bodies recovered in Afghanistan - 24 hrs ago
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