NATO soldier killed, 3 others wounded during chopper emergency landing

By Xinhua,

Kabul : An Mi-8 supply helicopter loaded with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from an ISAF base in eastern Afghan province of Kunar Sunday, killing one soldier and injuring three others, said an ISAF statement.

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However, it did not identify the nationality of the victims or the cause of the accident.

A spokesman with ISAF press department told Xinhua that the case is under investigation.

“We do not know the reason for the emergency landing. Investigation is underway and we would inform the press whenever it is complete,” said the official, who did not give his name.

U.S. soldiers have been serving in Kunar province to stabilize security there in the restive region neighboring Pakistan’s lawless tribal area.

Taliban insurgents who claimed responsibility for killing 10 French soldiers in east of Afghan capital Kabul last week have yet to make comment for today’s chopper incident.

A U.S. military helicopter was shot down by militants in Kunar province in 2006 killing all 16 aboard.

Taliban insurgents who staged a violent comeback three years ago have intensified their activities across Afghanistan over the past weeks to mount pressure on the government despite around 70,000 foreign troops stationed in the war-torn country vowing to keep peace and help reconstruction here.

Conflicts and spiraling insurgency have claimed the lives of over 3,000 people so far this year.