NATO helicopter crashes in southern Afghanistan, injuries reported
A NATO helicopter crashed in the southern province of Zabul Monday, causing no deaths, but a local official said there were injuries among personnel aboard, DPA reported.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that there were no fatalities in the incident, and all personnel on board were evacuated to nearby ISAF medical treatment facilities.
Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Zabul, said nine ISAF soldiers, four Afghan troops and one Afghan interpreter were injured in the crash.
The Taliban claimed in a statement posted on their website that their fighters shot down the chopper, killing all soldiers on board.
The ISAF statement said that the cause of the incident was under investigation, but there were no indications that it was caused by insurgent action.
The southern region is the main hub for Taliban militants, who were driven from power in a US-led military invasion in late 2001.
Afghan and NATO officials have said that large-scale operations would be conducted in the region in the summer when international troop strength is expected to increase to 150,000 from the current 120,000 soldiers.