KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan military helicopter crashed on Wednesday in the country’s western Farah province, killing the two pilots on board, a defense ministry official said.
The Mi-35 chopper crashed around 11 a.m. in the district of Pur Chaman, said Rohullah Ahmadzai, the ministry’s spokesman. The helicopter was en route from the provincial capital, the city of Farah, to the district headquarters when it went down, he said, adding that a technical problem cause the crash. An investigation was underway.
In November, two U.S. service members were killed when their helicopter crashed in eastern Logar province. The U.S. military at the time said preliminary reports did not indicate it was caused by enemy fire, though the Taliban claimed to have shot down the helicopter — a claim the U.S military dismissed as false.
The month before, at least seven Afghan army personnel and crew died when their helicopter crashed in northern Balkh province. The cause of the crash at the time was said to be a technical problem.
The Taliban now control or hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan but continue to stage near-daily attacks targeting Afghan and U.S. forces, as well as government officials — even as they hold peace talks with a U.S. envoy tasked with negotiating an end to what has become America’s longest war. Scores of Afghan civilians are also killed in the crossfire or by roadside bombs planted by militants.