US commanders say engine failure and not enemy fire was the cause of a helicopter crash in Afghanistan that killed eight soldiers. Fourteen others were injured when the twin-motor Chinook came down after the pilot suddenly lost power and control of the aircraft, they said.
It happened in a mountainous area in the south of the country where there had been recent reports of an increase in Taliban activity. The guerrillas claimed they shot the craft down but that has been denied by a military spokesman.
“A coalition helicopter was reported to have gone down in an area of south eastern Afghanistan early Sunday morning after reporting an engine failure. There is no indication that this was due to enemy fire,” he said. It is believed coalition forces have been mobilising in the region to counter a possible spring offensive by the Taliban.