TAKHTA PUL, Afghanistan, April 26 (UPI) -- The British Ministry of Defense has confirmed a helicopter carrying five British service personnel has crashed in Afghanistan killing everyone aboard.
The International Security Assistance Force announced the crash occurred about 80 miles outside of Kandahar in Afghanistan’s mountainous Takhta Pul district due to what local officials describe as technical problems. The Ministry of Defense said it is investigating the incident.
Despite reports to the contrary, a spokesman for the Taliban insisted the extremist group was responsible for the crash. In a telephone interview with the Guardian, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed the helicopter was brought down by a “secret” new weapon.
“The helicopter was trying to manoeuvre and was targeted by the Taliban,” Ahmadi told the British newspaper.
A spokesman for Kandahar Governor Tooryalai Wesa refuted this claim, explaining "Charghai village is very close to Kandahar airport. [International Security Assistance Force] headquarters is also located close to Kandahar airport. That is why it crashed close by. But it is one of the safest districts in Kandahar."
The incident is the third largest loss of U.K. soldiers since the nation, along with the United States, established a presence in Afghanistan.