8 dead in Afghan army copter crash

Oct 10, 2016, 09:57 IST | Agencies

Kabul: Eight Afghan soldiers were killed early yesterday morning when a military helicopter crashed in northern Baghlan province, officials said.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said that five crew members and three army soldiers were killed in the crash.

The crash took place in Dand Ghori district while the helicopter was supplying a military base, he said. Waziri blamed a technical problem with the aircraft and said he rejected any claims by insurgents to have downed the helicopter.

One helicopter was on the ground while a second was patrolling in the air above, when “suddenly a technical problem caused the helicopter to catch fire and hit the ground,” Waziri said.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement claiming responsibility for downing the helicopter, saying the aircraft was shot down by fighters.

Two provincial officials in Baghlan also said the helicopter had been shot down by insurgents while it was supplying the military base with food, water and ammunition.

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In a statement, the Islamic State claims responsibility for the largest attack, which killed five people and wounded 22 in eastern Baghdad. It says a suicide bomber targeted Shiite pilgrims marking the holy month of Moharram. Iraqi officials say two other attacks in southern Baghdad killed five people and wounded 15.

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Turkey launched a military operation in response to the attack. The attack reportedly occurred at 9:45 am outside a Gendarmerie checkpoint on the Semdinli-Yuksekova highway and was the work of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The explosion produced a crater 15 metres-wide and 7 metres-deep.

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