Washington, Aug 7 : As the US mourned the death of its 30 soldiers, including Navy SEALs from the broader unit that killed Osama bin Laden, in a chopper crash in Afghanistan, a probe has been launched to determine the exact cause of the incident that led to the biggest single loss for American troops in the decade-long war.
"No words describe the sorrow we feel in the wake of this tragic loss" of 38 lives -- 30 US troops, seven Afghan commandos and an interpreter, General John R Allen, International Security Assistant Force Commander (ISAF), said in a statement from Kabul.
Following the crash yesterday, the Afghan Taliban claimed that its militants shot down the helicopter in Wardak province of Afghanistan, according to SITE intelligence. Among those killed in the deadliest attack on the foreign troops were 25 US special operations forces troops, including 22 Navy SEALS from the same group which was involved in the covert US military operation to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May this year. But none of the SEAL members, who died yesterday, were personally involved in the Osama operation.
Besides, five more US soldiers, seven Afghan troops and an interpreter died in the crash of the helicopter during an anti-Taliban operation. "All of those killed in this operation were true heroes who had already given so much in the defence of freedom," Allen said.
An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the crash, the ISAF statement said. PTI