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Defense ministry in London confirms British helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

The defense ministry in London has confirmed a NATO helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan was British. Several ISAF troops died in the incident.

Five service members from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed on Saturday when the helicopter they were traveling in went down in southern Afghanistan, according to a statement released by the NATO-led military coalition.

"ISAF is still in the process of reviewing the circumstances to determine more facts," it said in a statement.

In London, the defense ministry confirmed the helicopter was British.

"We can confirm that a UK helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan today," the ministry said in a statement. "The incident is under investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further until families have been notified."

Dawakhan Minapal, a spokesman for Kandahar's governor, said the crash happened near Kandahar City.

"Today at 11 a.m. (0630 GMT) an ISAF helicopter crashed due to technical problems in Takhteh Pol district. As a result five ISAF soldiers were killed," he said.

Saturday's deadly helicopter crash comes as the international military forces winds down its operations in anticipation of withdrawing almost all troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. The incident brought the current death toll of ISAF service members and civilians to over 20 since January.

lw/kms,mz (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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