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 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Mon September 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