PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — Eight people were killed when an Afghan army helicopter crashed in the country’s northern province of Baghlan on Sunday, the provincial governor said.
“The army helicopter crashed in Qarghan Tapa, a mountainous area on northwestern outskirts of provincial capital Pul-e-Khumir roughly at 6:00 a.m. local time (0130 GMT),” Governor Abdul Satar Bariz told Xinhua.
“Military authorities have initiated an investigation into the incident and details will be released afterwards,” he added.
The Taliban militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Mi-17 helicopter, which was delivering supplies to an army camp, was shot down by a militants’ rocket propelled grenade, an army source told Xinhua anonymously, adding that three soldiers and five crew members died in the crash.
“It is an unfortunate incident and all the eight people aboard the chopper lost their lives,” he said.
The Baghlan province and neighboring Kunduz and Takhar provinces have been the scene of heavy clashes over the past couple of months as Taliban has been trying to challenge the government forces in the once relatively peaceful region.
The Taliban have been on the rampage since April when they launched their so-called annual rebel offensive in different places in Afghanistan, including the capital of Kabul, killing and injuring hundreds.
In January three Afghan army personnel were killed and one person was injured in a helicopter crash in the eastern Afghan province of Logar.
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