The US suffered its worst single loss of life in the nearly 10-year Afghan war when a helicopter carrying 31 special forces soldiers crashed on Friday night in the east of the country.What are we fighting for.....?
Both the Taliban, via a spokesman reached by telephone, and Afghan officials in Wardak province, to the west of Kabul, said insurgents had shot down the Chinook helicoter with a rocket.
Nato would only confirm that "there was enemy activity in the area" and that the US-led alliance was still trying to work out what had happened. US air force captain Justin Brockhoff, a Nato spokesman, said: "We are in the process of accessing the facts."
A western official said 37 people were on board, all of whom were killed. The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, said the helicopter was carrying 31 US special forces and seven members of the Afghan national army.
It is very unusual for Nato deaths from a single incident to reach double figures. The previous most deadly day for foreign troops was in June 2005 when 16 US soldiers were killed when a Taliban rocket hit a Chinook in the eastern province of Kunar.
The crash happened at 3am when the helicopter was hovering over the town of Tangi Joi Zareen, in the district of Saidabad, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said Nato attacked a house in the district where insurgent fighters were gathering. He said eight insurgents died in the fighting.....
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