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Iran Press TV

Indonesia copter crash leaves 13 dead

Iran Press TV

Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:8AM

All the 13 people onboard an Indonesian military helicopter have been presumed dead after it crashed on the country's Sulawesi Island, an official says.

According to Indonesian military spokesman Tatang Sulaiman, the Bell 412 helicopter went down in Kasiguncu village in Poso district on island of Sulawesi Sunday evening local time.

The chopper was en route to help with a counterterrorism operation in Poso -- where a Takfiri terrorist group is waging a guerilla war against the government – to hunt down one of Indonesia's top terrorists, known as Santoso. Santoso leads one of Indonesia's top terrorist organizations in the east and has reportedly pledged allegiance to Daesh Takfiris.

Sulaiman said seven passengers and six crew members were onboard the copter and it crashed 35 minutes after take-off and just 10 minutes before landing.

"Twelve (bodies) have been found and identified," said Sulaiman, adding that rescuers were still searching for one crew member.

He noted that police had launched an investigation into the cause of the accident; however, bad weather and lightening were seen as the most likely cause.

Reports said most of the crash victims were high-ranking military officers and one of them was a military commander of the Sulawesi province, identified as Colonel Infantry Saiful Anwar.

The Bell 412 was a twin-engine US helicopter, purchased by the Indonesian government in 2012.

The Indonesian military has been repeatedly hit with aircraft accidents in recent years.

Last month, three people were killed when a small Super Tucano turboprop plane crashed into a densely populated area during a test flight.

Back in July 2015, an Indonesian Air force C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed in Medan, northern Sumatra province, killing more than 140 people and causing widespread destruction.

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