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5 NATO troops killed in Afghan helicopter crash

5 NATO Troops Die In Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Five NATO troops died in a helicopter crash Saturday in southern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led military coalition said, the single deadliest day this year for foreign forces as they prepare to withdraw from the country.

The Taliban claimed to have shot down the helicopter, which an Afghan official said crashed in the southern province of Kandahar.

The coalition said it was investigating the circumstances of the crash but gave no other information in a brief statement. It did not release the nationalities of those killed, citing its policy that home countries should identify their dead.

Kandahar provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani said the helicopter went down in the province's Takhta Pul district in the southeast, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Pakistani border. He said five international troops were killed but did not know what caused the crash.

A Taliban spokesman claimed in a text message to journalists that the insurgents shot down the aircraft.

"Today, the mujahedeen hit the foreign forces' helicopter with a rocket, and 12 soldiers on board were killed," Qari Yousef Ahmadi said. The insurgents frequently exaggerate death tolls in their attacks and falsely have claimed responsibility for incidents before.

The last deadliest day for coalition forces was Dec. 17, 2013, when a helicopter crash killed six U.S. service members.

Saturday's deaths bring to seven the number of international troops killed this month. The NATO force is preparing to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan at the end of this year, and it has already turned over the job of fighting the Taliban insurgency to the Afghan army and police.

Violence has increased in Afghanistan ahead of the NATO withdrawal and also in the weeks leading up to the country's April 5 election. Preliminary results of the vote are due later Saturday.

Also Saturday, an Afghan university official identified two Americans killed in a shooting at a Kabul hospital earlier this week.

The vice chancellor of Kabul University, Mohammad Hadi Hadayati, named the two as health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary.

Hadayati said that Jon Gabel's wife was wounded in the attack Thursday saw that an Afghan police security guard open fire as the family entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital.

The Gabel family was visiting pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago, who was also killed in the shooting.

Hadayati said Jon Gabel ran a clinic at the university providing low-cost medicine and also volunteered to teach computer classes.

He said Gabel worked with U.S. charity Morning Star Development.


Associated Press writers Mirwais Khan in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Kay Johnson contributed to this report.

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xenotex April 26 2014 at 10:08 AM

An awful way for them to come home but it is time for the Afghan ingrates to sort things out for themselves.

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joeshop8 April 26 2014 at 11:34 AM

Hey Barry ..............fulfill Your 2008 and 2012 campaign promises about getting out of that barren wasteland. I find it reprehensible that the media treats Barry and this subject with such kid gloves. Why are We still there?? The only thing that toilet of a Country has to offer is heroin.........is that why We are still there??

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1 reply
harleybv joeshop8 April 26 2014 at 12:34 PM

The bigger question is why did Bush start a war he couldn't finish? What is it about war that gets the GOP excited? Instead of blaming Obama, wise up and put it squarely where it belongs, on the shoulders of the war mongering Republican war profiteers. It is much harder to leave a country than it is to invade one. But even now the GOP wants to engage in another war, whether it's Syria, N. Korea, Iran or the Russia. And so far Obama has been able to keep from shedding more American blood in a foreign land

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Paul April 26 2014 at 11:12 AM

NATO has no business being in Afghanistan and neither do us. We have been there 13 years in this none ending war having many of our young being killed there and spending billions of our tax Dollars there.

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1 reply
goodgrief61945 Paul April 26 2014 at 12:54 PM

A family I have been friends with for years, had a young son there, with four days left before he came home. He had half his face blown off by a roadside bomb. Never mind the many hundreds killed and thousands maimed for life, this ONE death was reason enough to bring ALL our kids home

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brillig51 April 27 2014 at 2:17 AM

Who was killed? WE never get names. I want to know the names of the people who were killed in the helicopter crash. I think it would a big difference to the emotions of the American people if the dead had names. 5 killed doesn't make an emotional impact. Give us names.

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1 reply
twiggymonsterone brillig51 April 27 2014 at 2:24 AM

Families get the bad news first, so they don't learn on the news.

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madddddddddddddd April 26 2014 at 11:49 AM

these dead,, for zero,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,very sadddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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Jim April 26 2014 at 10:52 AM

Unfortunately, as soon as we signalled our intent to cut and run, that was the end of any hope for stability in Afghanistan, as was also the case with Iraq. If you tell the enemy you're leaving, all they're going to do is jockey for positions of power and position themselves for the time when the last soldier heads home. Along with that, all of the Afghans who devoted themselves to improving their lot by working with us have every reason to cut themselves off from those that remain, knowing that they will be toast in any Taliban takeover. If we are unwilling to follow through on our commitments, we send a continuing message of weakness. This is why wars in the past were fought until one side surrendered. We still have troops in Germany and Japan where we had to beat the crap out of their armies of destruction and then establish a presence to remind them not to get out of line. If we are not going to do that with Islamic armies of death, then we should come up with another strategy and quickly.

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3 replies
sstuczynsk April 26 2014 at 10:52 AM

Why do we continue to waste Amedrican and NATO troops lives. If these people want to live s they lived 2000 years ago, let them. If they want to kill each other off, let them. It is not worth one more american life.

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1 reply
savannahswithgod sstuczynsk April 26 2014 at 11:00 AM

Is your favorite song a Muhadejeen song, how about a comic book or a movie classic? To be enslaved by religious fanatics is why we fight! And lives will be lost whether by the enemy or accident. But to not fight and let it flourish leads to more enslavement which is not why the Creator took his time to make us Human Beings.

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1 reply
harleybv savannahswithgod April 26 2014 at 12:39 PM

They were around and fighting long before there was even a USA...We have done nothing to change what has been the norm in that part of the world, and we never will. Our creator as you call him did not put us here to be policemen of the world. Politicians did that

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namvetjackie April 26 2014 at 11:46 AM

In my opinion the middle east is a war zone and has been since biblical times. The people that live there have been pushed and abused by one so-called leader or another all of thier lives. If we are going to win the war against terrorism, then we will have to conquer the enemies over there and make them like it. Otherwise, We may as well pullout all at once and let them live and die like they have for centuries. We could not win in South VietNam because of all the politics and now we are right back in it all again. I support our troops 100% because I am a handicapped VietNam vet. If anyone who reads my remarks has ever been in the Military, they know what I am saying. We are a brotherhood for life due to our experiences in war.
It is not right for our troops to be trained to do a job and then prosecuted for doing it. The people over there are like the vietnamese , you cannot pick out the bad guy until he kills agroup of our people like the three doctors that were just slaughtered for no good reason. Thats all I have to say about that. BYE

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4 replies
cbur444 April 26 2014 at 10:45 AM

I have thought for a long time that we the public are not being told the whole story. I suspect that among the Afghan people the Karzai government has less support and the rebels have more support than we are allowed to know.

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1 reply
Paul cbur444 April 26 2014 at 11:18 AM

We don't belong there they don't want us there and obviously they don't like us there. So why are we there oh, I forgot we live in 1984 where WAR = PEACE , FREEDOM = SLAVERY and IGNORANCE = STRENGTH

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Frank Godlewski April 26 2014 at 10:20 AM

Why don't we just get the hell out that country.... They probably hate our gut's... but know how to take our money and kill our young men over there! What do we gain by staying there??? More heart ache? I have cousin's that was wounded twice, once in Iraq and again in Afghanistan. How many American wives, and children have to suffer the loss of there husband's and father's??? When is enough????????????????

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