Friday, April 20, 2012

NATO Helicopter Crashes in Southern Afghanistan

Lejay is located in the Baghran valley, in Hel...
Helmand Province. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 ISAF Joint Command release:

KABUL, Afghanistan – Four International Security Assistance Force service members died following a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan yesterday.

It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.
DoD release:

Four U.S. Service Members Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2012 – Defense Department officials said today the four International Security Assistance Force members killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan yesterday were Americans.
“Regrettably, we can confirm that four U.S. service members lost their lives in this crash,” George Little, acting assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, told Pentagon reporters today.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby, who returned this week from approximately two months’ duty in Afghanistan, said no information is yet available on the mission the helicopter crew was performing.
“We still believe that weather was the principal cause [of the accident],” Kirby said.
He added that as with all such incidents, the crash remains under investigation until all possible details are determined.
“They’re going to look at all factors, but right now it appears that weather was the principal cause,” Kirby said.
He said defense officials are not aware of any enemy fire reported in the area where the crash took place.

KABUL, Afghanistan — A United States helicopter crashed in bad weather in southern Afghanistan on Thursday after it responded to evacuate Afghan police officers wounded in a suicide attack on a police checkpoint, an Afghan official said.

Two Afghan officials said the crash killed four Americans. Late on Thursday, however, NATO confirmed only that one of its helicopters had crashed in southern Afghanistan. It said on Friday that its investigation was ongoing, and would not say whether those on board had been killed nor confirm their nationality.
Other news organizations reported that the helicopter was an American Black Hawk.
The helicopter went down around 9 p.m. in the Garmsir district in southern Helmand Province, according to Mohammad Fahim Gorbati, the district governor. Both Mr. Gorbati and a provincial Afghan security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four Americans had died in the crash.
Mr. Gorbati said four Afghan police officers had been killed in the suicide attack on the police checkpoint, and seven others wounded, and that the American helicopter was flying to the scene of the attack to take the wounded officers to a nearby hospital. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, claimed that insurgents had shot down the helicopter. 

from NYT

no confirmed exact reports/news/releases yet
updates coming soon...
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