Taliban insurgents shooting down a U.S. helicopter
Taliban insurgents responsible for shooting down a U.S. helicopter and killing 38 U.S. the top American commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday. They are still seeking the top insurgent leader they were going after in Saturday's mission that’s International forces killed.
Marine Corps Gen. John Allen told a Pentagon news conference that an F-16 air strike Monday took out fewer than 10 insurgents involved in the attack on the Chinook helicopter.
In a separate statement Wednesday, the military said the Monday strike killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who fired the rocket-propelled grenade at the helicopter.
The military said intelligence gained on the ground provided a high degree of confidence that the insurgent who fired the grenade was the person killed.
Allen defended the decision to send in the Chinook loaded with special-operations forces to pursue insurgents escaping from the weekend firefight with Army Rangers in a dangerous region of Wardak province of eastern Afghanistan.
The helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade, Allen said the military's investigation into the crash will also review whether small-arms fire or other causes contributed to the crash.
According to officials, the team included 17 SEALs, five Navy special-operations troops who support the SEALs, three Air Force airmen, a five-member Army air crew and a military dog, along with seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter.
The release had been in question because the dead were mostly covert special-operations forces from the Navy and Air Force.
The investigation comes as the remains of the troops killed in the crash were returned Tuesday in an operation the names of the fallen and denied media coverage of the arrival at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.