published Saturday, August 6th, 2011, updated Aug. 6th, 2011 at 3:11 p.m.

Afghan president says 31 US troops killed in NATO helicopter crash

Times Free Press Wire Services

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan President Hamid Karzai says 31 U.S. special forces and seven Afghan soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Wardak province.

It's the highest number of casualties recorded in a single incident in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials said later Saturday that 22 of the dead were members of a Navy SEAL unit, along with other U.S. service members and the Afghan unit. The helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the Tangi Valley west of Kabul, one coalition official said, though others said the exact weapon remained in question.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which punctuated a surge of violence across the country, even as U.S. and NATO forces begin a modest drawdown of troops. It occurred after a night raid, a tool that has been praised by U.S. commanders as one of the most effective in the recent military offensive, though the raids have been heavily criticized by Afghan officials and civilians.

President Barack Obama offered his condolences and prayers to the families of the Americans and Afghans who died in the attack. “Their death is a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifice made by the men and women of our military and their families,” Obama said.

Karzai said in a statement on Saturday that he has sent condolences to Obama for the victims of the overnight crash.

See Sunday's Times Free Press for complete coverage.

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nucanuck said...

Why are we fighting Taliban? They are a quasai military political faction who pose no threat to the US and who will fight us as long as we remain in THEIR country.

The US cannot solve tribal differences around the world, the US cannot even settle tribal differences in Washington, DC.

August 6, 2011 at 5:57 p.m.
ceeweed said...

nucanuck, I couldn't agree with you more. The sad fact is that the majority of Americans could care less about our involvement in the Mid-East. War mongers don't care that we are pouring billions down these crap holes. The Afghan ruling elite is blatantly ferrying this money out of the country with no accountability. U.S. contractors over there are no better as they take billions and pocket it without doing the work they were hired to do. Seems our system of law enforcement has no jurisdiction in these matters. Afghanistan, like Iraq, is just a bunch of tribes with a flag who hate each other... That fact will never change.

August 7, 2011 at 10:23 p.m.
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