NATO helicopter crashes in Afghanistan, 2 injured



Kabul: A NATO helicopter crashed on Wednesday in western Afghanistan, injuring two troops serving with the US-led military coalition, NATO said.

No other information was disclosed about the crash in the relatively peaceful west. The crash is under investigation.

Separately, NATO reported that a service member was killed yesterday during an insurgent attack in the south.

Insurgents are trying to regain territory they've lost during the past two years when tens of thousands of coalition and Afghan forces routed them from their strongholds in the south.

The trooper's nationality has not yet been released. So far this year, 238 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan, including at least 172 Americans.

Yesterday, the Afghan Defence Ministry said that an Afghan soldier has been sentenced to death for killing four French troops earlier this year in eastern Afghanistan, one of the deadliest in a rising number of attacks in which Afghan forces have turned their guns on their foreign partners.

Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Defence Ministry, said a military court in the country's capital on Monday ordered the soldier, Abdul Sabor, to be hanged. The soldier can appeal the sentence to higher courts, Azimi said. It was not clear when the soldier was convicted of the crime and Azimi did not have any other details about his case.

The four French soldiers were killed on January 20 in Tagab district of Kapisa province. Just a month earlier, on December 29, 2011, another Afghan soldier killed two members of the French Foreign Legion.

The French casualties prompted France's new President Francois Hollande to withdraw combat forces from Afghanistan earlier than planned.

The decision to put France on a fast-track exit timetable sparked consternation among some members of the US-led military coalition, which is not ending its combat mission until the end of 2014.

France will pull 2,000 French combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and leave around 1,400 soldiers behind to help with training and logistics.

PTI