An Afghan National Army Air helicopter takes off on a mission. File photo
Gulf Today Report
At least nine Afghan military personnel killed when a helicopter crash overnight in a central province of Afghanistan, the defence ministry said on Thursday.
The crash happened on Wednesday night in a volatile district in Wardak province, where Afghan forces and local militias have bitterly fought.
In a statement, it said that four crew members of the MI-17 helicopter along with five security personnel were killed in the crash, in the Behsud district of Maidan Wradak province. It gave no further details except to say that investigations were ongoing.
A bomb kills 4 state employees in the capital Kabul on Thursday.
"As a result of the incident, four crew members and five security forces" were killed, the MoD said in a statement.
"The ministry of defence is investigating the cause of the crash."
Mohibullah Sharifi, the spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, confirmed the helicopter crash, but did not provide further details.
Helicopter crashes are common in Afghanistan either due to technical problems or militant attacks.
Separately on Thursday, a bombing killed four state employees commuting in a minibus in the capital Kabul, police said. Ferdaws Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said a woman was among the dead and nine other people were wounded in the attack in the city's north.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack, but government employees have been targeted before. On Monday, another bombing on a minibus carrying state workers in Kabul killed three women and a 3-year-old child, and wounded 13 others, according to security officials.
Afghanistan is experiencing a nationwide spike in bombings, targeted killings and other violence as peace negotiations in Qatar between Taliban insurgents and the Afghan government stall.
Daesh’s local affiliate has claimed responsibility for some of the violence, but many attacks go unclaimed, with the Afghan government putting the blame on the Taliban. The insurgents have denied responsibility for most of the attacks.
The attack in Kabul comes on the same day Russia hosts the first of three international conferences aimed at jump-starting the peace process, ahead of a May 1 deadline for the final withdrawal of US and NATO troops from the country.
The Moscow conference is seen as a critical first step toward peace. Key players are attending, including US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, Afghan national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who will lead a 10-member delegation. Representatives of Pakistan, Iran, India and China are also participating.
Two United States service members were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the US military said in a statement.
Passengers and crew aboard a US military helicopter were injured when the chopper they were travelling in was destroyed during a “hard landing” in Afghanistan, a US official said on Saturday.
A helicopter crashed into a building on Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan on Monday, the New York Fire Department said.
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Qureshi said Pakistan was determined to help Afghanistan avoid a collapse of its economy and had agreed measures to ease some border restrictions and facilitate trade, including on-arrival visas for Afghan business travellers. "