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U S helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

Written by: Staff

KABUL, May 6 (Reuters) A U S military helicopter with nine personnel aboard crashed while on combat operations in eastern Afghanistan, the U S military said today.

The crash of the CH-47 Chinook late last evening near Asadabad, capital of of Kunar province, was not the result of enemy fire, the U.S. military said, adding there was no word on the fate of the nine passengers and crew.

''The CH-47 was conducting operations on a mountain top landing zone when the crash occurred,'' the U S military said in a statement.

''Additional aircraft and crews were also at the landing zone and confirmed that enemy forces did not cause the crash,'' it said.

Rescue and recovery operations were under way, it said.

U S forces last month launched an offensive against insurgents in Kunar along the Pakistani border.

In June of last year, an MH-47 -- a special forces version of the CH-47 -- was shot down during an anti-guerrilla mission in the province, killing all 16 U S troops on board.

Last September, a U S military Chinook crashed in the southern province of Zabul during an anti-militant operation killing all five American crew members.

The United States has more than 19,000 troops in Afghanistan, battling insurgents and hunting for their leaders.

U.S. and Afghan opposition forces overthrew the Taliban in late 2001, after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, architect of the September 11 attacks on the United States.


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