Afghanistan: two American soldiers killed in helicopter crash

The crash appeared to be an accident, though the Taliban claimed they had shot it down

TOPSHOT - In this photo taken on March 2, 2019, an Afghan military helicopter rescues people from atop an overturned truck in flooded area of Arghandab district in Kandahar province. At least 20 people were killed by flash floods in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province, the UN said on March 2, 2019, as heavy rains swept away homes and vehicles and potentially damaged thousands of houses. / AFP / JAVED TANVEER
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Two American service members were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, US forces said on Wednesday. The crash appeared to be an accident, though the Taliban claimed they had shot it down.

A statement from US Forces Afghanistan said the crash on Wednesday was being investigated, "however preliminary reports do not indicate it was caused by enemy fire".

It did not reveal the crash location and said it would withhold the names of those killed until next of kin could be told.

The Taliban claimed they had shot the helicopter down in Charkh district of Logar province at 1.00am.

"The Americans wanted to raid a mujahideen base, but their helicopter was shot down and caught fire. All on board were killed," their spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said.

Roughly 13,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan, 18 years after Washington invaded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

US President Donald Trump has been eager to withdraw, but General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this month that American forces are likely to remain "for several more years".

More than 2,500 Afghan civilians have been killed in the fighting so far this year, the United Nations says.