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2 US service members killed in Afghanistan helicopter crash

20 Nov 2019 TheHill

Two U.S. service members were killed Wednesday after their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan.

NATO Resolute Support released a statement on the matter without providing many additional details nor identifying the two service members.

The statement noted that an investigation into the cause of the helicopter crash is underway, though early reports don’t indicate enemy fire led to it.

The Taliban quickly took credit for the crash, claiming they shot down the helicopter in eastern Logar province, according to the Associated Press.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the group downed a U.S. helicopter at around 1 a.m. during fighting with the “invaders and their hirelings,” according to the AP. The U.S military dismissed the Taliban’s claim as false.

The crash brings the total number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan to 19 this year, with three additional non-combat deaths.

Wednesday's crash comes amid signs the U.S., Taliban and Afghanistan are attempting to restart peace talks after President Donald Trump canceled them following a Taliban suicide-bomb attack in Kabul in September that killed a U.S. soldier and 11 others.

An American and an Australian were freed by the Taliban Tuesday in exchange for three of its members as part of a deal with Afghanistan's government. 

Updated at 8:39 a.m.

Original Link: https://thehill.com/policy/defense/471233-2-us-service-members-killed-in-afghanistan-helicopter-crash

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