Three killed in Afghan army helicopter crash, say officials

Three killed in Afghan army helicopter crash, say officials

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Kandahar: Officials said Thursday that when a military helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, at least three Afghan security personnel were killed. The Taliban claimed to have shot down the plane.

The Ministry of Defense said the incident occurred on Wednesday night in Helmand province where the helicopter crashed into a state of emergency.

It said that two policemen and a soldier were killed in the crash, adding that an investigation had been launched. At least four security personnel were injured.

The head of the Helmand Provincial Assembly, Ataullah Afghan, told AFP that the helicopter was carrying security personnel from a meeting in the province.

“The helicopter crashed during an emergency landing after facing technical problems,” he said.

The Taliban, however, claimed to have brought it down.

“The helicopter was shot down by our Mujahideen in Washer district of Helmand province,” a spokesman for the group, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said in a statement.

He said the helicopter was shot down while bombing the rebel positions.

The Ministry of Defense denied this request.

Wednesday’s incident occurred a few weeks after nine people were killed when a military helicopter was shot down in central Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense initially stated that there had been a crash, but President Ashraf Ghani later confirmed that it had been shot down.

Helicopter crashes are common in Afghanistan-due to technical problems or attacks by militants.

In October last year, nine members of the Afghan military were killed when two army helicopters collided while transporting wounded soldiers in Helmand.

The Afghan government has been battling a surge in violence across the country blamed on the Taliban, despite peace talks launched between the two sides last year.

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