KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The international military force in Afghanistan says seven American troops are among the 11 people who died in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in the country's south. A Taliban spokesman says the insurgents shot down the aircraft but the NATO-led force said it is still investigating the cause.
A spokesman for the alliance, Jamie Graybeal, said seven American service members were among the dead in Thursday's crash of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. He said four Afghans died — a civilian interpreter and three members of the Afghan security forces.
Graybeal declined to give any details of the aircraft's mission.U.S. officials say three of the seven American troops killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan were special operations forces — two Navy SEALS and a Navy explosives expert.
The Taliban have claimed their fighters shot down the helicopter on Thursday morning in Kandahar province in the south. However, the U.S. officials say initial indications are that it was not shot down, though an investigation has been opened.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information and the investigation is ongoing.
They say the helicopter was operating in support of fighting between coalition forces and insurgents when it went down.