Alwaght- At least two American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan's eastern Logar province after a US heavy-lift Boeing Chinook helicopter has crashed.
US Forces-Afghanistan confirmed in a statement that the service members were killed in a helicopter crash on Wednesday.
“The cause of the crash is under investigation, however, preliminary reports do not indicate it was caused by enemy fire,” the statement said.
The statement added that in accordance with US Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action were being withheld for 24 hours until the notification of next of kin was completed.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Taliban militant group claimed it shot down the helicopter while it was conducting a raid against the outfit.
“US Chinook helicopter shot down and completely destroyed last night while trying to raid Mujahideen (Taliban) position in Pangram area of Sarkh, Logar,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet.
The Taliban group’s claim cannot be confirmed by independent sources. The Taliban often takes credit for accidental crashes.
The Afghan government, however, ruled out their involvement in the helicopter crash.
“There was no involvement of the enemy fire in the helicopter crash and no Afghan security force member is hurt,” said Fawad Aman, a spokesperson for the Afghan defense ministry.
More than 14,000 active US troops are reportedly based in Afghanistan. More than 2,200 US troops have been killed in the country since the invasion in 2001.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with their continued deployment. US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Trump.
The US has, in the past, tried to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban militant group over the withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan.
In the past year, US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad held nine rounds of negotiations with the Taliban in Qatar, where the militant group has a political office.
A solution seemed to be close in early September, but a new wave of violence and the death of a US soldier prompted Trump to call off the talks.
Trump then threatened to use an unprecedented amount of force against the group.
We will strike the Taliban with “power the likes of which the United States has never used before,” the US president said at a 9/11 memorial service.