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Nine die in Afghan helicopter crash

A Nato helicopter has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing nine international troops in a region where forces are ramping up pressure on Taliban insurgents.

It was the deadliest chopper crash for the coalition in four years.

A "large number" of Americans were among those who died in the crash, according to a senior military official in Washington, but the cause was not clear.

He said it remained unclear whether troops of other nationalities were among the fatalities.

The Taliban claimed to have shot down the helicopter, but Nato said there were no reports of hostile fire.

It happened in Zabul province - rugged terrain where helicopters are heavily used to transport military troops spread over mountainous areas with few roads.

One other coalition service member, an Afghan National Army soldier and a US civilian were injured.

Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Zabul, said the helicopter went down in Daychopan district.

The Nato contingent in Zabul is dominated by US and Romanian forces.

However, Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, told the Associated Press insurgents shot down the helicopter. The Taliban often exaggerate their claims and sometimes take credit for accidents.


From Belfast Telegraph