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Downed US military helicopter in Afghanistan targeted Taliban leader: ISAF

Kabul , Tue, 09 Aug 2011 ANI

Kabul, Aug 9(ANI): The 38 US Navy Seals and other troops, who were killed over the weekend in Afghanistan when their Chinook helicopter was shot down, were on a mission targeting a Taliban leader in the Tangi Valley, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has said.


The helicopter was reportedly fired on by a rocket-propelled grenade, while it was transporting US service members to the scene of an ongoing engagement between NATO and insurgent forces.


A total of 30 American troops, seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter died in the crash.


"The operation began as a security search for a Taliban leader responsible for insurgent operations in the nearby Tangi Valley," Fox News quoted an ISAF statement, as saying.


"After commencing the search, the initial security force on the ground observed several insurgents, armed with rocket propelled grenade launchers and AK-47 assault rifles, moving through the area. The security force and insurgents exchanged small arms fire, resulting in several enemies killed," it added.


An investigation is under way to determine the exact cause of the crash.


According to reports, of the 30 Americans killed, there were 22 Navy Seals, three Air Force combat controllers and a dog handler, his dog and four crewmembers.


Most of the Seals belonged to the same elite unit that killed Bin Laden, although they were not the same people who participated in the May 2 raid in Pakistan. (ANI)


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