July 30, 2005
Two hurt after U.S. helicopter crashes in Afghanistan
KABUL (Reuters) - A U.S. Apache helicopter crashed during a routine training mission in Afghanistan, injuring the two crewmen aboard, a military statement said.
It said the AH-64 Apache came down on Friday near Bagram, the main base for U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan to the north of the capital.
U.S.-led forces have lost at least a dozen helicopters in Afghanistan due to technical problems, operating conditions or hostile fire since invading the country to overthrow the radical Taliban government in late 2001.
The statement said Friday's crash was not believed to have been caused by insurgents, but it comes a day after a giant Chinook CH-47 helicopter was destroyed by a hard landing during an operation to hunt down insurgents in the restive south.
Taliban guerrillas said they had shot down the chopper in Thursday's incident, but had no proof. There were no casualties.
In April, a CH-47 helicopter crashed during a dust storm in Ghazni province, killing 15 American servicemen and three civilian contractors aboard.
Last month an MH-47 helicopter -- a special forces version of the CH-47 -- was shot down during an anti-guerrilla mission in the eastern province of Kunar, killing all 16 troops on board.
The U.S. leads a mostly American forces of about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan chasing Taliban and allied militants. Thirty-seven U.S. troops have been killed in action this year, the bloodiest so far for U.S. forces in the country.