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NATO-led coalition confirms death of 38 in Afghan copter crash

RIA Novosti

11:40 07/08/2011

KABUL, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - The NATO-led coalition on Sunday confirmed the death of 38 U.S. and Afghan troops in a military helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.

Thirty International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members, one civilian interpreter, and seven Afghan commandos were killed when a coalition CH-47 Chinook went down on Saturday as it was shot down from the ground.

"All of the ISAF service members on board were from the U.S. The incident represents the highest number of U.S. forces killed during a single event in support of Operation Enduring Freedom," the ISAF said in a statement.

Fox News on Saturday quoted a Pentagon source as saying that among those killed in the crash were over 20 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land Teams) from the so-called Team Six that eliminated Osama bin Laden in his Pakistani compound on May 2.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have expressed their condolences to the relatives of those killed in the crash.

Radical militant group Taliban has claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter.

Last month, a coalition helicopter was shot down by insurgent fire in nearby province of Kunar.

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