31 U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

The U.S. suffered its deadliest day in Afghanistan on Saturday when a NATO Chinook helicopter crashed in a province not far from the capital Kabul, killing nearly 40 people, including 31 American soldiers.

The office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed the report, saying that seven Afghan troops were also killed in the accident that the Taliban said was carried out by its warriors. “They wanted to attack our muhahideen who were in a house, but our mujahideen resisted and destroyed a helicopter with a RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) rocket,” Taliban spokesman Zabihulah Mujahid said, according to Reuters.

However, the Afghan Defense Ministry said an investigation will be carried out to determine what caused the accident. “The incident is under investigation right now as this helicopter belongs to international forces,” Defense Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimy said. “Obviously they will provide details of the crash and the reason.”

Meanwhile, Karzai expressed his condolences to the victims, saying that the accident caused him “deep sorrow and sadness.”