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A NATO plane crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing 4 international service members.
A NATO plane crashed in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing four International Security Assistance Force members.
Initial reports of the accident suggested it was not a result of military activity. The ISAF plane went down in Shah Joy district, and has been surrounded by international forces.
The brief statement about the crash from Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar, deputy governor of the southern province of Zabul, did not specify the nationalities of the victims in accordance with coalition policy.
Most international soldiers in southern Afghanistan are from the United States.
The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for the attack, though earlier Saturday the organization announced the start of their annual "spring offensive," vowing a nationwide series of attacks as NATO troops withdraw earlier.
This year's "fighting season" is seen as crucial to Afghanistan's future as its much-criticized security forces pit themselves against the Islamist extremists who have fought against the Kabul government since 2001.
“The Afghan National Army is ready to neutralize the offensive,” Afghanistan's Defense Ministry responded in a statement, the Associated Press reported.
These casualties bring the number of ISAF member deaths in 2013 up to 18, according to the force's casualty reports.
NATO forces are slated to pull out of Afghanistan next year.