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US helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

Published 18/02/2007

A US-led coalition helicopter crashed in southeastern Afghanistan today after

reporting engine failure.

But officials declined to give the number of people on board.

"It was not enemy-fire related," said Col Tom Collins, spokesman for Nato's

International Security Assistance Force.

"The pilot was able to radio in that he was having engine problems. We're

confident it was not due to enemy action."

It was the first US military helicopter crash since May 2006, when a CH-47

Chinook helicopter that attempted a nighttime landing on a small mountaintop

crashed in eastern Kunar province, killing 10 US soldiers.

In 2005, a US helicopter crashed, also in Kunar, after apparently being hit by

a rocket-propelled grenade, killing 16 American troops.

Thousands of US forces are deployed in southeastern Afghanistan.

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