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Helicopter crash kills 5 U.S. troops

| Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 8:27 p.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan — A helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan has killed five American service members, officials said on Tuesday.

The crash on Monday night brought the total number of U.S. troops killed that day to seven, making it the deadliest day for U.S. forces this year.

Two special operations forces were gunned down hours earlier in an insider attack by an Afghan policeman in eastern Afghanistan.

The NATO military coalition said in a statement that initial reports showed no enemy activity in the area at the time. The cause is under investigation, the statement said.

The official said the helicopter went down outside Kandahar city. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been formally released.

All five people aboard the UH-60 Black Hawk were killed, said Maj. Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the international military coalition.

At the same time as the crash was being reported, Afghan President Hamid Karzai was berating the Taliban for giving the United States a reason to stay longer in the country, by staging the deadly weekend attacks that killed at least 19 Afghans, including eight children.

“Do you think you really show America you are strong? No. This is not showing power, this just serves the Americans,” Karzai was quoted in the statement released by his press office.

The Taliban claimed responsibility only for targeting the Defense Ministry in Kabul, not the second attack in the south where the children were killed, but Karzai blamed them for both.

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