Five US Troops Killed In Helicopter Crash In Afghanistan

Five US troops were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Monday. The service members were in Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan when the crash occurred.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force released a statement about the crash, saying that “there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident.”

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. The names and nationalities of the five people killed in the accident have not been released. However, a US official confirmed that all of those involved were American.

The helicopter involved was a UH-60 Black Hawk, according to Major Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the international military coalition in the nation. The crash came just hours after two US special operations forces were killed in an insider attack by an Afghan policeman. The attack happened in eastern Afghanistan on Monday morning.

Along with killing two US troops, the insider attack also killed three Afghans during a security meeting. The five US troops killed in the helicopter crash brought the total killed for the day to seven. It also brought the total killed for the year so far to 12. Last year 297 US troops lost their lives in the country.

The accident was the deadliest since a US military helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents last August. The August crash also happened in Kandahar and saw seven Americans and four Afghans lose their lives.

Another helicopter crashed near the Afghan capital of Kabul in March of 2012. The accident killed 12 Turkish soldiers on board, as well as four Afghan civilians on the ground. Insurgent attacks also claimed the lives of six Afghan civilians on Monday.

Monday’s crash was also the first helicopter crash since last September, when two separate accidents killed 11 coalition members. There were no reports of enemy fire in either incident. The five US troops were killed in the helicopter crash just days after newly-sworn-in Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited the country.

[Image by Jenko88 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]