Chopper Crash Kills Seven in Afghanistan

At least six people on board and a child on the ground were killed when a helicopter carrying civilian contractors working for foreign troops in Afghanistan crashed on Tuesday, say media reports citing NATO and the local administration. The cause behind the crash is yet to be ascertained.

The copter crashed outside the Sangin military base in the Afghan province of Helmand at around 0900 hours (local time).

“At around 9:00 am this morning, a private helicopter has crashed outside Sangin military base… we have at least six people killed,” a report on the Associated Press website quoted a spokesman of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) spokesman as saying.

The spokesman speaking from the NATO base in Kandahar said that the passengers aboard the copter were all civilians.

According t correspondents, the nationalities of those on board the chopper were yet to be ascertained.

Provincial officials in Helmand confirm that an Afghan child was killed and a man sustained injuries, ostensibly after being hit be debris, at the crash site.

Refusing to divulge further information the officials confirmed that the child and the man were not passengers, but residents of a village in the vicinity of the crash site.

Witnesses say the saw the chopper catch fire and crash.

The Taliban, known for indulging in psychological warfare by  making exaggerated claims, said it was responsible for the crash.

“It was a Chinook helicopter and we brought it down,” a Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, was quoted as saying by AFP.

Afghanistan, in recent weeks, has witnessed a spike in insurgent violence, as the country moves into the final phase before the landmark polls scheduled for August 20.

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