CABUL – Nearly two dozen Afghans perish in a crash of a military helicopter Wednesday in western Farah province, including…
CABUL – Nearly two dozen Afghans perish in a crash of a military helicopter Wednesday in western Farah province, including the deputy commander of the region and local politicians.
The war, the latest in a series of incidents with Afghan helicopters, is the deadliest this year.
Military spokesman Noor Ulhaq Khaliqi said two helicopters flew together in the rugged area of Anar Dara where the Taliban are active, but gave no other details. Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yusuf said the rebel group dropped the helicopter into a “direct attack”.
Naser Mehri, a spokesman for Farah’s governor, denied the Taliban’s assertion and attributed the crash to “bad weather”.
There was no independent verification for pages of account.
Speaking via Pharaoh’s phone, Mehri rejected earlier reports of the death of the provincial chief and added that he was in the second helicopter. The aircraft transported supply and logistics to government outlets.
Among the dead were the head of the provincial council and deputy commander of the army in the western region, according to Shah Mahmoud Nayemi, deputy director of Farah’s provincial council. He said the helicopter hit a mountain side.
Najibullah Najib, another spokesman in the region, said more than 20 people were on the helicopter at crash and he thought there were no survivors.
The Defense Ministry of Kabul had no immediate comment.
A number of army helicopters, including one in Farah, have crashed in recent months in Afghanistan. The helicopters are the main source of transport of troops and supplies for these remote and volatile areas.
Most of the army’s navy of transport helicopters are aging machines from the Soviet era. The US military leading the war against the rebels has also given the army some more modern combat helicopters.
Separately on Wednesday, five people, including police, were killed in a suicide attack outside Afghanistan’s largest prison in Kabul. 19659014] The Ministry of Health said that 10 other people were injured. A source of safety said the accidents could go higher.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack that came one day after the Islamic state said it was behind a suicide attack outside of the Electoral Commission in Kabul.
Afghanistan held parliamentary