5 American soldiers dead after helicopter crash in Afghanistan

5 American soldiers dead after helicopter crash in Afghanistan5 American soldiers dead after helicopter crash

Helicopters crash in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said. The coalition was announced on Tuesday. The news release said there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident.

The chopper went down in the Daman district of southern Kandahar during a rainstorm, said Jawid Faisal, a government spokesman for the province. There have been 18 coalition deaths in 2013, including two U.S. service members who were killed Monday by an assailant wearing an Afghan National Security Forces uniform.

One occurred in early September, killing two; the other in the third week, killing seven service members and injuring two more. There were no reports of enemy fire in either of those incidents.

The crash was under investigation, but “there was no enemy activity in the area at the time.” Javed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar Province, said the crash occurred about 11 p.m. in Daman district.

The “insider attack,” one of the deadliest this year, occurred in Wardak during a meeting between U.S. and Afghan troops ahead of a joint mission.

The deaths come just after newly installed U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Afghanistan on his first overseas trip since his confirmation and as coalition members draw down their forces in the nation where war has been ongoing since 2001.

In August 2011, a helicopter went down killing at least 30 U.S. service members, the single deadliest loss for U.S. troops in the Afghan war. Insurgents shot down the CH-47 Chinook, which was carrying 25 U.S. special operations forces.

The attacker seized a machine gun in the back of a police truck and fired on the U.S. and Afghan forces in a police compound, an Afghan military official said. About a dozen U.S. and Afghan troops were injured, including the district police chief, officials said.

There was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident, ISAF said. It has not released the nationalities of the service members.

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