26 Oct. 2009
PR# 2009-762

Operational Update: Helicopter Incident in Western Afghanistan; Afghan, International Joint Security Forces Operations; ISAF Casualties

Helicopter Incident in Western Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - Today an International Security Joint Force helicopter went down due to unconfirmed reasons in western Afghanistan, and casualties from this incident have been verified. The cause is not believed to be from enemy action.

Seven U.S. service members and three U.S. civilians were killed. Those injured include 14 Afghan service members, 11 U.S. service members and one U.S. civilian.

This incident was initially reported in ISAF NEWS RELEASE # 761, "International Forces helicopters involved in incidents in Afghanistan" issued Oct. 26. This incident and the suspected mid-air helicopter collision that occurred in southern Afghanistan today are separate incidents.

"These separate tragedies today underscore the risks our forces and our partners face every day. Each and every death is a tremendous loss for the family and friends of each service member and civilian. Our grief is compounded when we have such a significant loss on one day," said Col. Wayne Shanks, an ISAF spokesman. "I can never truly express in mere words our condolences for the families for their loss and sacrifice."

Joint Security Operations

An Afghan and international joint security force killed a dozen enemy militants in Kandahar province Oct. 25 in an operation to interdict a Taliban commander and his element. This Taliban group is believed to be responsible for attacks in the Arghandab district, west of Kandahar City.

The joint security force coordinated an air strike on the enemy position. During the search several of the killed militants were discovered armed with AK-47 rifles, rocket propelled grenades, ammunition belts and communications gear. All items were destroyed in place.

In another operation, a joint security force killed several militants and detained a few suspected militants today in Khowst province after searching compounds in pursuit of a Haqqani facilitator linked to an improvised explosive device and fighter element in the area.

The joint security force searched two compounds near the village of Now Deh, north of Khowst City. Militants outside of one of the compounds posed a hostile threat to the joint force and were killed.

During the search the joint security force discovered multiple hand grenades and multiple AK-47 rifles.

In a third operation, on Oct. 24 a joint security force searched a compound and detained a few suspected militants believed to be members of an IED network in Bala Boluk district, Farah province.

During the search suspected militants surrendered peacefully with no shots being fired.

No Afghan civilians were harmed during any of these operations.

ISAF Casualties

A U.S. service member was killed in an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Afghanistan Oct. 25. In another incident on Oct. 25, a U.S. service member died of wounds sustained in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/