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A brief look: Taliban claim to have downed second chopper in days

Just days after a helicopter crash resulted in the largest loss of American soldiers in a single day in 10 years of war in Afghanistan, another Nato helicopter was forced to make a “hard landing” on Monday. By KHADIJA PATEL.

Officially, Nato officials are still investigating the cause of a helicopter crash in the central Maidan Wardak province in Afghanistan that killed 38 people, including 30 US soldiers, seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter over the weekend.  As investigations continue, unnamed US officials in Washington have been quoted confirming that the helicopter was indeed brought down by Taliban forces.  For their part, the Taliban have been swift to claim responsibility for shooting down the troop-carrying CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The majority of those killed  in the crash were from the Navy Seal Team 6, the unit that hunted down Osama bin Laden in Abottabad in Pakistan.

While Nato forces still reel from the attack, another Nato helicopter has made a “hard landing” in the volatile Patkia province in east Afghanistan.  With no casualties immediately apparent, Nato officials have launched another investigation to understand what exactly prompted the “hard landing”, offering no immediate comment. Once more though, the Taliban have leapt to claim responsibility.

As Nato forces bemoan the casualties, some 300 people in the Ghazni province protested what they say is the killing of two people during a Nato raid. Civilian casualties, according to the UN, have hit record highs in the first half of this year. DM

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Photo: fghans who work on a construction project watch as a U.S. Chinook helicopter leaves after a security handover ceremony in Panjshir province July 24, 2011.NATO troops handed over security responsibility to Afghan forces in the northeastern province of Panjshir on Sunday, capping an initial transition phase early after it was deemed a ceremony was not needed to mark Afghan control of districts around Kabul. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood.


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