Connect to share and comment

Afghanistan: Helicopter crash kills 12 NATO troops

A Turkish helicopter crashed into a three-story house in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Friday, killing at least 12 Turkish soldiers and two Afghan children.

Afghanistan helicopter crash turkey 2012 03 16Enlarge
The Sikorsky helicopter was on a peacekeeping mission when it crashed into the house, the Turkish military said. The cause of the crash has not yet been established, and a NATO official said there had been no reports of insurgent activity. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A Turkish helicopter has crashed into a house in the Afghan capital of Kabul, killing at least 12 Turkish soldiers and two children.

The apparent accident destroyed much of the three-story house in the eastern district of Bagrami, local police chief Saifuddin Nangeyali said, adding that another Afghan civilian was injured along with the two children killed in the crash, The New York Times reports.

The death toll is believed to be the heaviest sustained in a single incident by Turkish forces in Afghanistan.

More from GlobalPost: Afghans seethe at lack of US response to massacre

The Sikorsky helicopter was on a peacekeeping mission when it crashed into the house, the Turkish military said. The cause of the crash has not yet been established, and a NATO official said there had been no reports of insurgent activity.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said preliminary findings indicated that the helicopter was attempting an emergency landing due to technical problems, according to the Agence France Presse.

Witnesses said the helicopter burst into flames after hitting the house, which subsequently collapsed, according to The Daily Telegraph. Rescuers are searching the rubble for more casualties.

Turkey currently has 1,845 soldiers serving as peacekeepers in Afghanistan. As the only Muslim-majority member of NATO, which leads the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), its soldiers are limited to patrols and do not take part in combat operations, the BBC reports

More from GlobalPost: Turkey hosts Afghan-Pakistan summit 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/afghanistan/120316/afghanistan-helicopter-crash-kills-12-nato-troops