NATO Recovers Bodies From Downed ‘copter

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KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 7 (UPI) — The bodies of 38 U.S. and Afghan soldiers were removed from the wreckage of a downed helicopter southwest of Afghanistan’s capital, officials said Sunday.

International Security Assistance Force spokesman Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings told CNN the process of notifying U.S. families of the deaths had begun.

The large CH-47 Chinook helicopter was carrying 30 U.S. special forces soldiers, 22 of them Navy SEALs, as well as seven Afghan soldiers and an interpreter.

The Taliban claimed it had shot down the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade, but NATO wouldn’t confirm that and issued little information about the incident.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said finding the reason for the crash would take time.

“Information is still coming in about this incident,” he said. “I think it’s important that we allow investigators to do their work before jumping to too many conclusions.”

The double-rotor troop transport craft went down in Wardak province southwest of Kabul Friday night. It was bringing the special troops back from a mission in which eight Taliban militants were killed, initial reports said.

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