6 Americans killed in Afghanistan crash, officials say

4:29 PM, Dec 17, 2013   |    comments
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter lifts off after dropping off soldiers in Zabul province in 2005, the same location of today's crash. (Photo: Tomas Munita, AP)
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WASHINGTON - Six U.S. troops were killed in a helicopter crash Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO officials said.

The crash is under investigation, but in a statement the NATO coalition said there was no enemy activity at the time of the crash.

They did not release any further details pending "casualty notification procedures."

The number of coalition casualties in Afghanistan has declined sharply this year, as Afghan security forces take up the brunt of the fight.

One person on board the aircraft was injured and survived, two U.S. defense officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

The deputy governor of southern Zabul province, Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, said a NATO helicopter crashed in the remote district of Shajau and U.S. officials later confirmed that Zabul was the location of the U.S. crash.

Helicopter crashes have caused some of the largest U.S. death tolls in Afghanistan. In August 2011, Taliban insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter and killed 38 Americans.

So far this year, 109 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan, the majority of the 139 coalition deaths there.

The U.S. toll has dropped significantly as Afghan troops have taken the lead in most operations. Last year, 297 U.S. troops died in Afghanistan out of a total of 394 coalition forces.

Contributing: Associated Press

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