At least thirty-one US special forces have been killed after a helicopter belonging to the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) crashed in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Wardak.
The deaths were announced in a statement by the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, AFP reported on Saturday.
The death toll is the biggest in a single incident for foreign forces since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Seven Afghan forces were also killed in the incident, the statement added.
Provincial spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the chopper crashed on Friday night in the city of Seyed Abad.
The helicopter went down when it was carrying out an anti-Taliban operation by foreign and Afghan forces in which at least eight militants were killed, the Afghan official said.
A spokesman for ISAF said they are investigating the crash but did not provide any further information about the incident.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the militant group was responsible for shooting down the helicopter.
The Afghan official confirmed the militants’ claim.
“The US chopper that crashed last night was shot down by the Taliban as it was taking off. A rocket fired by the militants hit it and completely destroyed it,” Shahid said.
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