ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The bodies of the two U.S. journalists who died in an Afghan helicopter crash were to be brought Sunday to Islamabad on their way to the United States for burial, U.N. officials said Saturday.
The journalists -- Sharon Herbaugh, 39, and Natasha Singh -- were among 15 people who died Friday when their helicopter crashed in the Hindukush mountains in northern Afghanistan.
Herbaugh headed the Islamabad bureau of the Associated Press and Singh worked for United Press International and other news organizations.
Workers of a British aid agency, the Halo Trust, found the bodies in the Kayan valley, about 90 miles from Afghanistan's border with the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan.
Western aid workers in Afghanistan attributed the crash to sudden engine failure and they ruled out any possibility of sabotage or rocket attacks from the ground.
The helicopter belonged to Syed Jafer Naderi, governor of the northern Baghlan province, who also leads the former Communist Ismaili militia.
The Halo Trust moved the bodies to the northern Afghan city of Mazar- i-Sharif and U.N. officials said one of their planes would bring the bodies Sunday to Islamabad, from where they would be flown to the United States.
Islamabad's Foreign Press Association arranged a memorial service for the two journalists at a local church Tuesday.
Both had worked previously in Afghanistan, covering the fighting during the Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989 and the subsequent Soviet withdrawal.
Singh, a native of California, covered the Afghan rebel takeover of Kabul for UPI in spring 1992. Herbaugh, a native of Denver, was overseeing the AP's Kabul bureau from Islamabad and often traveled to Afghanistan.
The Afghan Islamic Press did not give the identities of the 13 other people killed aboard the helicopter.