US Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 03.11.2001
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US Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan

A US special forces helicopter was downed in bad weather in hostile Afghan territory. But the crew of four has been rescued.


Helicopters on Special Forces Mission in Afghanistan, during a military exercise.

A US helicopter on a special forces mission in Afghanistan crashed in bad weather on Friday, injuring four of its crew. But all were rescued and evacuated, American defence officials say.

A statement said the crash-landing was blamed on severe weather, not enemy fire. Another helicopter on the same mission rescued the crew and F-14 Tomcats from the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt destroyed the damaged helicopter.

It is the first time the US has admitted losing an aircraft since the military campaign against the Taliban regime and the al-Qaeda terrorist network began on October 7.

It is unclear where in Afghanistan the incident took place, although the Pentagon has previously admitted that US special forces are operating in Afghanistan. Much of their activity has been centred around the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif - the scene of heavy fighting between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban.

However Pentagon officials including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, have said that freezing rain in Afghanistan is hampering efforts to get troops into the country.

Meanwhile there have been renewed bombing raids in Central Afghanistan north of the capital, Kabul. US bombers returned to the skies of Afghanistan on Saturday, the 28th day of the military campaign, pounding the Taliban position to clear the way for the opposition Northern Alliance to advance towards the capital.

The White House has reiterated that bombing will not be suspended during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in mid-November

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