14 killed in Kabul copter crash
KABUL (PAN): A dozen Turkish soldiers and two Afghan women were killed when a Turkish helicopter crashed into a three-storey house on the eastern outskirts of Kabul, the central capital, on Friday, police said.
Another three civilians -- two women and a child -- were wounded in the incident that took place in the Bagrami district after the helicopter developed some technical faults, the crime branch investigation department head at the 101st Asmaee Police Zone Headquarters, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Abdul Zahir, told Pajhwok News.
Fire brigade officer Maj. Samiullah said the dead included two Afghan translators with the Turkish troops on the copter. The house was comprehensively destroyed in the crash, while police and firemen were digging through the rubbles, he said.
Abdul Qadus, a local resident, said “there were two helicopters in the air passing through the area when one of them, all of a sudden, went down, hitting a house.”
He said two women, one in neighbouring house, were killed and another two women and a child were wounded in the accident. The dead people on the copter wore military uniform of Turkish army, the eyewitness said.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) media office in Kabul in a statement said the cause of the crash was being investigated.
It confirmed 12 NATO-led troops had been killed in the crash, but did not mention of any insurgent activity in the area when the helicopter went down.
Turkey has more than 1,800 soldiers serving in Afghanistan and most of them based in Kabul.
Unlike European NATO member countries, Turkey's mission is limited to patrols and its troops do not take part in combat operations.
In January, six US Marines were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan.
The crash was followed by the death of 30 American personnel, including 22 Navy SEAL commandos, in eastern Afghanistan in August last year, in another mishap.
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