25 dead in an Army helicopter crash in Afghanistan. An army helicopter crashed in southwestern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing 25 people on board, including a top commander and the head of the provincial council key in fighting off a Taliban attack in May, officials said.
The Taliban claimed its militants brought it down, while provincial council member Dadullah Qaneh said the helicopter hit a mountain peak in poor weather.
Two army helicopters were on their way from Farah province to neighboring Herat when one lost control in low visibility and crashed into a mountain, Naser Mehri, a spokesman for the provincial governor
The helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the mountainous Anar Dara district at around 9.10am (4.40am GMT).
Fresh reports say, commander of 207 Zafar corps including, his deputy Gen. Niamatullah’s death confirmed. Col. Arif Khan and another pilot killed too
General Naimudullah Khalil died alongside two members of the Farah provincial council, including chairman Farid Bakhtawar.
Military spokesman Noor Ulhaq Khaliqi said two helicopters were flying together in the rugged Anar Dara district where the Taliban are active but gave no other details, But Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yusuf said the insurgent group downed the helicopter in a “direct attack.”
Among the passengers were Nematullah Khalil, deputy army corps commander for the western region, and Farid Bakhtawar, the outspoken head of Farah’s provincial council. The other victims, apart from the crew, were soldiers and council members, Mehri said.
Bakhtawar was a major figure in battling the Taliban in the battle for the city of Farah which the militants besieged and threatened to take over in May.
Among the dead were the head of the provincial council and the deputy commander of the army in the western region, according to Shah Mahmoud Nayemi, deputy head of Farah’s provincial council. He said the helicopter hit a mountainside.
The head of the election commission for the province was also killed.