Official: Strike Kills Militants Who Downed US Chopper
MSNBC.COM - An air strike by NATO-led forces in Afghanistan killed Taliban fighters, including a local leader, who were responsible for a weekend helicopter crash that killed 38 troops, the worst single incident in 10 years of war.
We dealt with them in a kinetic strike," General John Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon.
Gen. Allen said the military tracked the Taliban fighters for several days after the helicopter went down. Forces reportedly trailed the fighters to a position in Chak District, Wardak Province, and then US F-16s struck and killed them Tuesday.
"The strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the shot associated with the Aug. 6 downing of the CH-47 helicopter, which resulted in the deaths of 38 Afghan and coalition service members," the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.
According to the statement, the two men were attempting to flee the country in order to avoid capture. The strike killed them along with "several" Taliban associates.
Mohibullah was not the Taliban leader that the Army Rangers and Navy SEALs were going after last weekend when the helicopter went down.
The statement did not say explicitly that Taliban fighters had shot the helicopter down, although it was the clearest indication yet that was the likely cause.
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