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GUNFIRE BRINGS DOWN U.S. HELICOPTER IN AFGHANISTAN – Chopper crew rescued. Elsewhere, bomber kills two Americans

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 28, 2008

Published on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2008

by Fisnik Abrashi – Associated Press

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Insurgents exchanged fire with U.S. troops aboard a Black Hawk helicopter in central Afghanistan on Monday before the aircraft was hit and forced to land. The crew was rescued, but in the north, a suicide bomber killed two U.S. soldiers.

Lt. Cmdr. Walter Matthews, a U.S. military spokesman, said there were no U.S. casualties as a result of the crash in a province neighboring Kabul.

“The helicopter crew exchanged fire with the enemy before the damage brought the helicopter down,” Matthews said.

At least four militants were killed in the exchange, said Fazel Karim Muslim, the chief of Sayed Abad district.

Another helicopter hovered as the U.S. troops secured the area around the downed chopper, which didn’t appear to sustain major damage, Muslim said.

The U.S. and other foreign forces rely heavily on helicopters for transportation around Afghanistan, which is covered by rough mountains and long stretches of desert and has few decent roads. Insurgents rarely bring down military helicopters, though they have hit several in recent years.

Wardak province has seen an increase in insurgent activity the last two years, and its main highway is now extremely risky to travel on, particularly at night. In mid-October, a U.S. Special Forces raid freed a kidnapped American working for the Army Corps of Engineers who had been held captive in Wardak for two months.

Also Monday, a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform blew himself up at a police station in northern Afghanistan, killing two American soldiers and wounding five other people, including an American, officials said.

The bomber entered a police station in Pul-e-Khumri, capital of Baghlan province, while Afghan officials were meeting with U.S. troops advising a police training program, provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayed Kheil said.

Meanwhile, the number of Afghans who think they are more prosperous today than under the Taliban regime has dropped significantly over the last two years, a U.S.-funded survey released today found.

More than half the Afghans surveyed in 2006 believed they were more prosperous than at any time under the hard-line Islamic regime’s rule in the late 1990s. But only 36 percent of 6,600 Afghans surveyed this year felt the same way.

The results mirror the deteriorating security and economic situation in the country.

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN: Insurgents exchanged fire with U.S. troops aboard a Black Hawk helicopter in central Afghanistan on Monday before the aircraft was hit and forced to land. The crew was rescued, but in the north, a suicide bomber killed two U.S. soldiers.

Lt. Cmdr. Walter Matthews, a U.S. military spokesman, said there were no U.S. casualties as a result of the crash in a province neighboring Kabul.

“The helicopter crew exchanged fire with the enemy before the damage brought the helicopter down,” Matthews said.

At least four militants were killed in the exchange, said Fazel Karim Muslim, the chief of Sayed Abad district.

Another helicopter hovered as the U.S. troops secured the area around the downed chopper, which didn’t appear to sustain major damage, Muslim said.

The U.S. and other foreign forces rely heavily on helicopters for transportation around Afghanistan, which is covered by rough mountains and long stretches of desert and has few decent roads. Insurgents rarely bring down military helicopters, though they have hit several in recent years.

Wardak province has seen an increase in insurgent activity the last two years, and its main highway is now extremely risky to travel on, particularly at night. In mid-October, a U.S. Special Forces raid freed a kidnapped American working for the Army Corps of Engineers who had been held captive in Wardak for two months.

Also Monday, a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform blew himself up at a police station in northern Afghanistan, killing two American soldiers and wounding five other people, including an American, officials said.

The bomber entered a police station in Pul-e-Khumri, capital of Baghlan province, while Afghan officials were meeting with U.S. troops advising a police training program, provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayed Kheil said.

Meanwhile, the number of Afghans who think they are more prosperous today than under the Taliban regime has dropped significantly over the last two years, a U.S.-funded survey released today found.

More than half the Afghans surveyed in 2006 believed they were more prosperous than at any time under the hard-line Islamic regime’s rule in the late 1990s. But only 36 percent of 6,600 Afghans surveyed this year felt the same way.

The results mirror the deteriorating security and economic situation in the country.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘OHIO.COM’ (USA)

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