KABUL (BNO NEWS) — Nearly 40 American and Afghan soldiers were killed on early Saturday morning when a Chinook helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, the Afghan government said. It is the worst loss of life for NATO since the war began.
The crash happened at around 3.30 a.m. local time when the Chinook helicopter went down in Wardak province, apparently after being hit by enemy fire. “We are in the process of assessing the facts and will release more information as appropriate,” a spokesperson for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said. “Reporting indicates there was enemy activity in the area.
While ISAF did not confirm reports of casualties, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed a total of 38 troops were killed. He said the fatalities were 31 American special forces and 7 Afghan soldiers.
Karzai has expressed his condolences, a statement from his office said. Saturday’s crash is the deadliest incident for coalition forces since the NATO-led war began in late 2001.