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Spanish crash victims buried in state funeral

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Spanish crash victims buried in state funeral


A state funeral has been held in Madrid for 17 Spanish soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Relatives wept as Spain’s prime minister and royal family joined them for the ceremony. The soldiers died when their helicopter came down near the western Afghan city of Herat on Tuesday. It remains unclear what caused the crash.

According to the Spanish government and NATO, it was probably an accident, but the Taliban has said its fighters shot down the aircraft. Investigators haven’t found any evidence to support that. Five other soldiers were wounded when a second Puma helicopter made an emergency landing near Herat. The victims were serving as part of a NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan. Spain has some 850 troops deployed in the country. The crash is the second air disaster for the Spanish military in Afghanistan. Sixty two peacekeepers were killed in 2003 when the plane bringing them home came down in Turkey.
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