27 Oct 2009

14 Americans killed in Afghan air crashes

10:55 am on 27 October 2009

The United States military says 14 Americans have been killed in two separate helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.

Four American soldiers were killed and two were injured when two helicopters crashed in mid-air over southern Afghanistan.

And in western Badghis province, seven US soldiers and three US civilians died when a helicopter crashed to earth.

The US says hostile fire is not believed to be to blame for either incident, but the Taliban says it was behind the Badghis crash.

A spokesperson for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan says the Baghdis crash happened as troops were leaving an area where they had carried out an anti-drugs trafficking operation.

News agencies are reporting that the three dead civilians worked for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The deaths are the first for the DEA in Afghanistan since it began operations there in 2005.