Two US soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan

Kabul: Two American soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, the US military said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The cause of the crash is under investigation, however preliminary reports do not indicate it was caused by enemy fire,” the statement said.

It did not reveal the crash location and said it was withholding the names of those killed until next of kin could be told.

The Afghan Taliban, however, claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, which it said crashed in Logar province south of Kabul.

“US Chinook helicopter shot down and completely destroyed last night while trying to raid Taliban position in Pangram area of Sarkh, Logar,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet.

“The Americans wanted to raid a mujahideen base, but their helicopter was shot down and caught fire. All on board were killed,” Mujahid said.

The Afghan government, on the other hand, has ruled out Taliban involvement in the latest incident.

The crash comes a day after the Taliban swapped two Western hostages for three of its commanders held by the Afghan government, raising hopes of a thaw in relations between the armed group and coalition forces.