Taliban 'filmed fighters shooting down Chinook'

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Training and Development Consultant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This software development organisation are loo...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Admin / Studio Manager

£17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable