Thursday, August 11, 2011

US F-16 pounds Afghan copter shooters

Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:38AM GMT
US soldiers board a military Chinook helicopter in Mehtar Lam in Afghanistan's Laghman province on July 19, 2011.
The United States claims a US airstrike has thrashed Afghan attackers suspected of shooting down an American Chinook helicopter carrying 31 US military personnel last Saturday.

US Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen said the military in Afghanistan tracked the attackers after they shot down the helicopter during the weekend, the UPI reported on Wednesday.

A group of militants, numbering fewer than ten people, were together as the location was hit by an F-16 strike, Allen claimed without offering further details. The airstrike occurred Monday, Pentagon officials said.

US military officials have said in a press statement that the airstrike also killed a militant leader named Mullah Mohibullah, who was allegedly part of the group that shot down the helicopter and escaped.

“After an exhaustive manhunt, Special Operations forces located Mullah Mohibullah and the shooter after receiving multiple intelligence leads and tips from local citizens,'' the statement said. “The two men were attempting to flee the country in order to avoid capture.''

The Afghan attackers are said to have downed the US Chinook with an RPG rocket launcher.

According to Gen. Allen, this is the only case in which an American Chinook helicopter has been shot down during night operations in Afghanistan.

Reports indicate that those killed in the Chinook shooting included 23 members of the elite US Navy SEALs unit, three Air Force special-operations personnel and an army helicopter crew of five. Seven Afghan commandos and a civilian Afghan translator were also killed in the attack.

It was the greatest loss of life for the US military in a single day during the nearly decade-long US war in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon does not allow any media coverage of the dead US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.



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