NATO helicopter shot down in Afghanistan; 4 killed

A NATO helicopter was shot down in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four troops, the alliance said.

Kabul: A NATO helicopter was shot down in
southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four troops, the alliance
said.

The helicopter was brought down by hostile fire in
volatile Helmand province, NATO said in a statement. It gave
no other details.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed
responsibility on behalf of the insurgents, saying militants
shot down the helicopter with two rockets.

Helmand provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi said
the attack occurred about midday in Sangin province.

Both US and British troops are operating in Helmand, part
of a band of provinces across southern Afghanistan that are
the Taliban`s heartland.
United States troops have been building in the south as
part of President Barack Obama`s surge strategy to try to
bring an end to the nearly nine-year-old insurgency.

Obama last December ordered some 30,000 more US troops to
Afghanistan, and most of them are due to be deployed in the
south.

US commanders are planning a major operation in Kandahar
that they hope will turn the tide of the war in time for
American troops to begin withdrawing on Obama`s stated
timetable starting in July 2011.

PTI

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