Fri, March 16, 2012
World > Middle East

12 NATO soldiers killed as chopper crashes in Kabul

2012-03-16 09:39:58 GMT2012-03-16 17:39:58(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

A Turkish soldier from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) walks near the site where a helicopter crashed on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, on March 16, 2012. Twelve soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) lost their lives as a chopper crashed in Kabul on Friday, the alliance confirmed in a statement released here. (Xinhua/Ahmad Massoud)

KABUL, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Twelve soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) lost their lives as a chopper crashed in Kabul on Friday, the alliance confirmed in a statement released here.

"Twelve International Security Assistance Force service members died following a helicopter crash in Kabul province today," the statement added.

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

However, it did not identify the nationalities of the victims, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

The crash, according to an Afghan official who declined to give his name took place in Bagrami district 10 km east of Afghan capital Kabul city at 10:45 a.m. local time and 10 of the victims are Turkish citizens.

An eye witness namely Tamim at the site of the incident said the helicopter first hit a residential house in Bagrami district and then caught fire leaving several people dead and injured.

More than 1,700 Turkish forces have been stationed in Afghanistan within the framework of NATO-led ISAF to help stabilize security in the conflict-ridden country.

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