US-Led Forces Kill Taliban Militants Behind Helicopter Attack

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan Wednesday said coalition forces killed the Taliban insurgents responsible for last week's helicopter crash in which 30 American and eight Afghan troops died.

In a videoconference from Kabul, General John Allen said his forces had followed the insurgents since the August 6 incident in central Wardak province. He said a precision air strike hit a group of Taliban militants Tuesday, killing several including their leader, Mullah Mohibullah, and another insurgent who fired the fatal shot at the CH-47 helicopter in the Tangi Valley. Mohibullah and the shooter were attempting to flee the country to avoid capture at the time of their demise.

It was the worst loss of life for the United States in a single incident during the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

General Allen said a probe is under way to review the circumstances surrounding the crash. He noted that while a rocket-propelled grenade was at least partly to blame for the crash, small arms fire also may have played a role.

General Allen said the Tuesday strike was part of the overall mission to dismantle Taliban forces in the region.

U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware Tuesday to pay his respects as the remains of the fallen soldiers, including 22 elite Navy SEALs, were brought home on two military cargo planes.

President Obama later met with about 250 family and friends of the dead who had gathered at the base, and expressed his condolences and gratitude for the troops' sacrifice.