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Crash cause yet to be determined: ISAF

Crash cause yet to be determined: ISAF

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On
Aug 08, 2011 - 18:15

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Talibaninfo-icon fighters had no sophisticated weapons to shoot down helicopters, the International Security Assistance Force said on Monday.

On Early Saturday, 31 US Special Force members were killed when their Chinook helicopter crashed in the Syedabad district of central Maidan Wardak province.

"The International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) is aware of the insurgents' presence in the area where the helicopter crashed," a spokesman for the multinational force, Carsten Jacobson, told a news conference in Kabul.

Although the insurgents have claimed downing the copter, the German brigadier-general said: "We don't see modern weapons with the Taliban. If they had such arms, they would have used them to shoot down helicopters."

An investigation is underway to determine what caused the crash, he said, adding the site has been cordoned off. Further information would be released when the investigation is completed, the spokesman said.

The US-led coalition was yet to determine the exact cause of the crash. "We are still investigating this incident, so we have no picture of what was the cause for the incident. That is what the investigation is basically all about," the spokesman said.

The crash was the deadliest for foreign troops since the US-led invasion of Afghanistaninfo-icon in 2001.

The spokesman acknowledged civilian casualties had increased during last month's counterinsurgency operations.

He said they were worried about the increasing number of civilian casualties. However, he said civilians casualties had decreased in August.

On Friday, foreign soldiers killed eight civilians in Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province. In a similar incident, six people were killed in Dwa Manda district of southeastern Khost province.

"Our soldiers came under attack from a house," Jacobson said of the Nad Ali incident. He added they had no prior information that civilians were also present in the house.

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