WASHINGTON (AP) - Six U.S. service members were killed Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, U.S. and NATO officials said.
One person on board the aircraft was injured and survived, two U.S. defense officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
A statement issued by the NATO international military coalition said the crash was under investigation and that there was no insurgent activity in the area. In Washington, an official originally said the helicopter had experienced engine failure before the crash, but later said that it was unclear whether that was the case.
The deputy governor of southern Zabul province, Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, said a NATO helicopter crashed in the remote district of Shajau and U.S. officials later confirmed that Zabul was the location of the U.S. crash.
This year, 109 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan, out of a total of 139 members of the coalition.
The death toll has dropped significantly since the coalition handed over responsibility for security to Afghan forces last summer and coalition troops are now training and assisting.
By comparison, 394 foreign troops died last year, including 297 Americans.
Associated Press writers Patrick Quinn in Kabul and Mirwais Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.
UPDATE (WKOW) --- Defense officials tell ABC News that the 6 ISAF members killed in an Afghanistan helicopter crash are Americans.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - NATO says six service members have died in an aircraft crash in southern Afghanistan, in an area where there was no fighting reported at the time.
The alliance says in a statement the crash occurred on Tuesday and that it's under investigation. It did not provide any further details nor on the nationalities of the service members on the aircraft.
The U.S.-led international coalition has service members from several countries deployed in the south.
NATO says initial reporting indicated there was no fighting or insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash.
Deputy governor of southern Zabul province, Mohammad Jan Rasoolyar, says a NATO helicopter crashed in the remote district of Shajau.
It was not immediately clear if he was describing the same incident.
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