Friday Apr 20, 201206:17 AM GMT
US-led helicopter down in S Afghanistan, 4 killed
A US trooper provides security for a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter as it lands in Khost Province in eastern Afghanistan (file photo).
Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:16AM
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At least four US troops have been killed after a helicopter operated by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) went down in the conflict-plagued southern Afghanistan.

The Black Hawk aircraft crashed in Helmand Province on Thursday, a US military officer told The Los Angeles Times on condition of anonymity.

“There was bad weather occurring at the time of the crash, but enemy action cannot be ruled out at this time,” the officer noted.

An official ISAF statement read, “The crash site is secured; the cause is under investigation. Additional information will be released as appropriate.”

On April 14, the Taliban said they had targeted an unmanned US reconnaissance aircraft in Afghanistan's eastern province of Laghman as it was performing a mission to collect information in the area.

The claim came on the same day as provincial security chief Sayed Amir Shah Sadat said an American spy drone had crashed in Ghazni Province in eastern Afghanistan.

On August 6, 2011, 31 US special operation troops and seven Afghan commandos were killed when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan's eastern province of Wardak. The Taliban claimed they had downed the helicopter with rocket fire, while it was taking part in an attack on a house where militants had gathered.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan was launched in 2001. The offensives removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence there of tens of thousands of US-led troops.

The rising number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the US and other members of the Western military alliance of NATO, undermining public support for the US-led war. According to official figures released by the independent website, a total of 120 US-led troops have lost their lives in the violence-hit country so far this year.

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