Skip to main content

5 coalition service members die in Afghan copter crash

By Joe Sterling and Qadir Sediqi, CNN
updated 6:23 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Helicopter is from United Kingdom, officials say
  • Afghanistan will have runoff election in June, officials say
  • Nationalities and the location of the crash were not released
  • This comes amid a series of deadly attacks

(CNN) -- Five coalition service members died Saturday when a helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

UK officials confirmed that it was a British helicopter that crashed, but the nationalities of the five casualties were not immediately released.

The UK Defense Ministry offered no additional details other than to say the incident is under investigation. ISAF's policy is to "defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities."

There are 5,200 British troops in ISAF, the second-highest deployment next to the United States -- which has 33,500 troops, according to ISAF's website. The number of British deaths in the Afghan conflict totals 448.

The incident occurred in the Takhtapul district of Kandahar province, according to Zia Durani, the spokesman for Kandahar police chief.

ISAF said an investigation is under way to determine more facts, but Durani said there is no evidence of insurgent activities and it appears the crash happened because of technical problems.

This comes amid a series of deadly attacks in the turbulent country. On Thursday, an American doctor and two others were shot by a policeman guarding a hospital in the capital, Kabul.

In December, a helicopter crash resulted in the deaths of six ISAF members -- all Americans. ISAF said the crash was caused by "enemy action," and Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for that incident, which occurred in Zabul province.

Political change ahead

Afghanistan, long in the throes of unrest, is undergoing political change.

Some seven million Afghans went to the polls on April 5 to choose a successor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai. It will be the country's first democratic transfer of presidential power.

The election will have a June runoff after no one candidate garnered more than 50% of the vote, the country's election commission said Saturday when preliminary first-round results were released.

Security will be a key issue for whoever is elected president as NATO troops are scheduled to draw down from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Journalist Qadir Sediqi reported from Kabul. CNN's Joe Sterling wrote and reported from Atlanta.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 5:15 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT