Taliban 'filmed fighters shooting down Chinook'
Thursday 30 June 2005
Two men claiming to be Taliban spokesmen have phoned Western news agencies claiming to have video footage of the helicopter being shot down and the aftermath of the crash.
Marine Corps General Peter Pace yesterday told the Senate Armed Service Committee that the helicopter had been shot down: "It was a special operations helicopter shot down, possibly by a rocket-propelled grenade, some kind of rocket, but we don't know," he said.
US-led coalition rescue troops have been dropped by helicopter into the mountains around the crash site to search for survivors.
The Chinook appears to have been the first American aircraft shot down in Afghanistan. US aircraft have been downed in Iraq, and this latest incident will increase fears that the situation in Afghanistan could escalate to mirror that.
It is also reminiscent of the way in which Afghan mujahedin shot down Red Army helicopters with US-supplied Stinger shoulder-launched missiles during the jihad against the Soviet occupation, a parallel that will be lost on no one in Afghanistan. The success of the mujahedin in crippling Soviet movements by bringing down their helicopters is thought by many to have been decisive in forcing the Soviet withdrawal.
The US helicopter was carrying troops to Konar, where the US military says it has "a large force" fighting with "a very determined al-Qa'ida enemy". The New York Times quoted unnamed military sources as saying the helicopter was carrying Navy Seals special forces.
The governor of Konar, Asadullah Waffa, said the helicopter had been brought down by a rocket fired by militants who had crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan to spread chaos ahead of the September parliamentary elections, and that Afghan security forces had captured two militants posing as cameramen.
General Pace told the Senate committee that insurgent violence in Afghanistan was rising and expected to worsen, and more US troops would be sent there ahead of the elections. The US would send "whatever number we need to ensure the security," and Nato also "will send in extra troops," General Pace said. Nato has about 8,300 troops in Afghanistan.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Holborn fire: Chaos as 2,000 people evacuated to escape toxic smoke filling central London
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Katie Hopkins reported to the police for race hatred by Labour MP Simon Danczuk after tweet about Pakistani men
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working closely with the market...
£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A reputable company, famed for ...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...