In the worst casualty total for Americans in Afghanistan since 28 June 2005, two helicopter crashes – one a mid-air collision - killed 11 American soldiers and three drug enforcement agents. The accidents are a sombre backdrop for US President Barack Obama’s security team meeting this week to discuss the future of US involvement in the region. Hostile fire has been ruled out as a cause for the mid-air crash, but no cause for the other one has been announced yet. Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman claimed their fighters had shot down a helicopter, but it was impossible to verify the claim or if he was referring to the chopper carrying the drug agents. A US military spokeswoman said hostile fire was unlikely because there was no ground fire as the helicopter carrying the agents took off. Nato said the helicopter was returning from a joint operation directed at insurgents carrying out “narcotics trafficking in western Afghanistan”. Read more: AP
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