Taliban claim they downed NATO helicopter

HELMAND, Afghanistan, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Taliban officials claimed responsibility for downing a NATO helicopter in Afghanistan's Helmand province Monday.

The civilian aircraft, contracted to NATO, crashed in the province's Nad Ali district. A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force told The Daily Telegraph the site where the helicopter went down had been secured. However, he declined to comment on the cause of the crash or any casualties.


Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, claimed the Taliban shot the aircraft down.

"Our Mujahideen downed a white helicopter in Nad Ali district that was supplying foreign troops in Afghanistan," he said. "The helicopter was on fire and all on board were killed."

Kamaluddin Shirzad, a senior detective for Helmand police said the crash was caused by technical problems.

In the past, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for aircraft crashes caused by technical problems. However, last August, a Taliban fighter did shoot down a NATO helicopter southwest of Kabul, killing all 38 passengers.

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