Afghanistan: 6 NATO soldiers killed in aircraft crash

18th Dec 2013

KABUL, (Xinhua): Six soldiers of the NATO-led coalition were killed Tuesday in an aircraft crash in southern Afghanistan, the coalition forces confirmed in a statement.

“Six International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members died following an aircraft crash in southern Afghanistan today,” the ISAF said in the statement.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the statement said, adding “however initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash.”

“A foreign forces’ airplane crashed at Shah Joy district of the southern Zabul province at around midday,” the deputy provincial governor Mohammad Jan Rassoulyar told Xinhua, without providing details.

Meantime, the Taliban insurgent group fighting Afghan and ISAF forces claimed responsibility for the incident.

A Taliban purported spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmdi, told local media that the insurgent shot down a U.S. military plane in Zabul, killing all U.S. personnel aboard.

The ISAF statement did not disclose the nationalities of the victims under the ISAF policy.

Zabul and the neighboring Kandahar provinces are known Taliban hotbed. On April 27, a U.S. military helicopter crashed in Zabul province, 340 km south of Kabul, killing four U.S. military personnel.

The deaths have brought to 155 the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

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