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Army helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, 25 killed

This file photo shows an Afghan Air Force MD530 Defender helicopter flying overhead during clashes between Afghan security forces and militants near the Eid Gah Mosque, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 21, 2018. (By AFP)

A helicopter operated by Afghanistan’s army has crashed in the southwest of the country, killing 25 people on board, officials say.

Naser Mehri, a spokesman for the governor of western Farah Province, said one of two army helicopters traveling to neighboring Herat Province lost control and crashed in bad weather in Anar Dara district on Wednesday.

The crew and passengers, totaling 25, were killed in the accident.

Mehri also said that among the dead were the deputy army corps commander for western Afghanistan and head of the Farah provincial council.

Provincial council member Dadullah Qaneh said the helicopter hit a mountain peak in poor weather.

Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman claimed that the group had shot down the aircraft.

Bombing kills 7 in Afghan capital

In a separate development, a bombing attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has killed at least seven prison employees and injured five others.

The attack targeted a bus carrying the employees of Kabul’s biggest jail, the Pul Charkhi prison, early on Wednesday, police spokesman Basir Mujahid said later on the day.

This image shows prisoners in line inside the Pul Charkhi prison in Kabul, Afghanistan,  on, June 14, 2018. (By AP)

Officials at the Ministry of Interior confirmed that a vehicle belonging to the Pul Charkhi prison had been targeted with a bomb attack.

Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said that the assailant had been on foot.

Further details were not provided.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but both the Taliban and the Daesh terrorist groups are present in Afghanistan.

Afghan National Directorate Security (NDS) soldiers escort Taliban militants in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on May 23, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

A 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by US-led forces toppled a Taliban regime in control of much of the Asian country at the time. Some 17 years on, however, and despite continued occupation, the outfit is still active and involved in widespread militancy in Afghanistan.

Takfiri Daesh terrorists, who had been originally concentrated in Iraq and Syria in the past, have established bases in eastern and northern Afghanistan. But they are mostly present in the eastern province of Nangarhar, from where they have carried out deadly attacks on major population centers across the country.

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