Blackhawk shot down over Kandahar province (MSNBC, Aug. 16, 2012) – All seven Americans aboard the helicopter were killed, including two Navy SEALs. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports. (01:33)
By NBC News’ Jim Miklaszewski and Atia Abawi; The Associated Press and Reuters
August 16, 2012
Seven American troops were killed Thursday when the Black Hawk helicopter they were traveling in crashed in southern Afghanistan, possibly shot down by enemy forces, U.S. officials told NBC News.
Three of the Americans were U.S. Navy sailors – two were Navy SEALS and one was an explosive ordnance disposal sailor. Three Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were also killed, bringing the total number of dead to 11, officials said.
According to U.S. officials, the helicopter had just landed in a “hot zone” to insert a small number of combat forces to support an ongoing operation. It was apparently shot down shortly after it took off to depart the area.
The helicopter was totally destroyed on impact.
U.S. officials at the Pentagon and in Kabul tell NBC News that American forces engaged in a shootout with enemy forces on the ground who were trying to reach the crash site.
The crash marked another deadly day for the U.S. in Afghanistan, less than a week after six American service members were gunned down, apparently by two members of the Afghan security forces they were training to take over the fight against the insurgency as international combat troops prepare to exit the country by the end of 2014. …
The Taliban shot down a CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter in August 2011, killing all 38 people on board, including 25 U.S. special operations service members. …
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Composite of the 30 U.S. troops killed in the downed helicopter in Afghanistan. (Photo credit: AP)
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