Five NATO-led International forces soldier killed in helicopter crash

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Kabul (afviews): Five members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, ISAF said on Tuesday.

A brief statement released by the ISAF said, “The cause of the crash is under investigation, however initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident.”

ISAF did not give any details about the nationality of the troops killed, but US and British forces are based south of Afghanistan. Local officials say that Australian troops also still operate in the south.

But Javid Faisal, spokesman of Kandahar governor said that helicopter went down due to bad weather.

“An ISAF helicopter went down due to bad weather and storm in Daman District, Kandahar last night. Five ISAF troops were killed in the crash,” Faisal added.

The crash came on the same day that two US troops and three Afghan local police were killed in what officials described ‘insider attack’ by a person in an Afghan military uniform in Maidan Wardak province.

New US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel left Afghanistan earlier on Monday after a difficult first trip to Kabul. His trip was marred by a suicide bomb attack near where he was holding a meeting, and differences with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who accused the United States of colluding with the Taliban.

Helicopter crashes are not uncommon in Afghanistan and the Taliban and others often claim to have shot them down, although such claims by insurgents are often exaggerated. Last August, 11 people, including seven US soldiers, were killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan.

The worst such incident was in August 2011, when the Taliban shot down a CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, killing all 38 people on board, including 25 US special operations troops.

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