News & Politics

Confusion Surrounds Reports of U.S. Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan

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Earlier, we reported on the helicopter crash in the Wardak province of Afghanistan that killed 31 American troops. The AP briefly reported that “one former U.S. official said that the dead included more than 20 Navy SEALs from SEAL Team Six, the unit that carried out the raid in Pakistan in May that killed bin Laden.” Now they are reporting that, “they believe that none of the Navy SEALs who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan had participated in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.”

The confusion appears to arise from the fact that the perished servicemen were from the same unit as the forces who carried out the bin Laden mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The team is thought to include “22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.”

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they shot the helicopter down with rocket fire.

SEAL Team Six and their successful raid of bin Laden’s compound was recently chronicled in this New Yorker article. In it, President Obama called the squad, “literally, the finest small-fighting force that has ever existed in the world.”

31 American troops, 7 Afghan commandos killed when helicopter shot down in eastern Afghanistan [AP]
AP sources: Crash kills members of SEAL Team 6 [AP]

[@nickgreene]