NATO Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan killing 16
Friday, 16 March 2012

A NATO helicopter has crashed into a house on the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul, killing 12 Turkish soldiers onboard and four Afghan civilians on the ground.

"The helicopter crashed into a house in Bagrami district of Kabul due to technical problems," a senior Afghan police official said.

He said the bodies of the soldiers and the four civilians - two women and two children - had been recovered.


Captain Justin Brockhoff, a spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), confirmed an ISAF helicopter went down in Kabul province but gave no details on possible casualties.

"The cause is unknown, but there were no reports of insurgent actions in the area," he said.

The crash came amid growing unease among NATO partner countries about the increasingly unpopular and costly war nearly 11 years into the conflict, as most foreign combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Turkey has more than 1,800 soldiers serving in Afghanistan, most of them around the capital.

Unlike other European members of the NATO-led coalition, Turkey's mission is limited to patrols and its soldiers do not take part in combat operations.


On Thursday, in a blow to NATO hopes of a negotiated end to the war, the Afghan Taliban said they were suspending nascent peace talks with the United States following the massacre of 16 civilians by an American soldier.

The US government said it remained committed to political reconciliation involving talks with the Taliban but progress would require agreement between the Afghan government and the insurgents.


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