Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Second Nato Chinook forced down

Chinook helicopters are a vital part of the war in Afghanistan, but two have come down within days of each other(AP)

A Nato helicopter has crash-landed in eastern Afghanistan, just days after the downing of a Chinook dispatched to bring in reinforcements for elite troops under attack.

Nato did not report any casualties in the latest incident and said the cause was under investigation. It said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.

The helicopter was a Chinook flying in Paktia province to pick up special operations troops, but it apparently suffered a mechanical failure and crash-landed. The crew were rescued by troops.

The crash landing came after another Chinook was apparently shot down on Saturday in eastern Wardak province as it rushed to assist Army Rangers who had come under fire.

Thirty Americans and eight Afghans - seven commandos and a civilian translator - were killed in the crash, making it the deadliest single loss for US forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

A current and a former US official said the Americans included 22 Seals, three Air Force members and a dog handler and his dog.

All but two of the Seals were from Seal Team 6, the unit that killed Osama bin Laden, officials said, although none of the men took part in that mission.

Speaking about the fatal crash on Saturday, Nato said coalition troops were now working to recover every last piece of the Chinook.A spokesman said troops have secured the crash site province and no-one was being allowed in or out of the area while the investigation was ongoing.

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