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Chinook Helicopter

August 10, 2011 by staff 

Chinook HelicopterChinook Helicopter, A U.S. air strike killed Taliban militants believed to be responsible for shooting down a Chinook helicopter, killing 38 U.S. and Afghan troops, the top commander in Afghanistan said.

Marine General John Allen at a press conference at the Pentagon forces to learn where the insurgents had fled and were killed in early morning F-16 air strike on Monday.

A statement from Afghanistan said the attack killed Taliban leader, Mullah Mohibullah and insurgents fired a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) that brought down the Chinook helicopter. He said the two men were trying to flee the country.

Thirty U.S. troops – Most of them elite Navy Seals – died in the crash, the deadliest incident for U.S. troops in the war in Afghanistan. Eight Afghans were also killed.

President Barack Obama flew to Dover Air Force Base on Tuesday to see the arrival of the remains of the dead. The army has launched an investigation into the incident.

The Chinook was shot down while trying to come to the aid of a team of soldiers involved in a shootout. They were on a mission to capture an important Taliban leader in the Tangi valley responsible for a series of attacks, including the planting of roadside bombs. Allen acknowledged that the main Taliban leader wanted in the operation remained at large.

The general defended the decision to send the elite team, saying it was deemed necessary at the time to pursue “the elements that escape” of an ongoing operation to target the leader of the Taliban.

“We are committed to a force to contain this element out. And, of course, in the process that the plane was hit by an RPG and crashed,” Allen told Pentagon reporters via videoconference from Kabul.

“We have more than a couple of thousands of these night operations in the past year, and this is the only time this has happened,” he said. “The fact that we lost this aircraft is not … a decision point on whether we will use this aircraft in the future.”

While authorities believe the helicopter was downed by an RPG, Allen said the military investigation of the accident also review whether small arms fire or other causes that contributed to the accident.

Allen later said the attack F-16 air killed the insurgents believed to be behind the attack – a claim the Taliban immediately questioned.

In Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said: “The person who shot the helicopter is alive and that is another operation against the province of [foreign troops],” he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location revealed.

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