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Elite soldiers killed in Tajikistan helicopter crash

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Elite soldiers killed in Tajikistan helicopter crash

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A helicopter from the Tajikistan national guard has crashed, reportedly killing at least two dozen soldiers. An official communique says four have perished, but military sources put the figure as high as 28.

It happened in the Rasht valley, an area where government forces have launched an offensive against an Islamist insurgency. The national guard says the helicopter hit a power line while trying to land and crashed into a river. But one source says it might have been shot down by Islamist militants.

Most of the victims are said to be elite special force soldiers.

The insurgency’s been gaining ground in recent weeks in Tajikistan, which has a long border with Afghanistan. An Islamist group with links to the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack last month that killed 28 soldiers.