Late last night reports started to surface of a helicopter crash in Wardak involving ISAF troops.
ISAF issued a statement:
ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan
For Immediate Release
KABUL, Afghanistan (Aug. 6, 2011) – An International Security Assistance Force helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan today, and recovery operations are underway.
ISAF is still in the process of assessing the circumstances to determine the facts of the incident, reporting indicates there was enemy activity in the area.
Additional details will be released as appropriate.
The US Secretary of Defense issued the following statement:
August 6 2011
"I am deeply saddened by the loss of many outstanding Americans in uniform and of their Afghan counterparts earlier today in Afghanistan. Their courage was exemplary, as was their determination to make this a safer world for their countries and for their fellow citizens. We will stay the course to complete that mission, for which they and all who have served and lost their lives in Afghanistan have made the ultimate sacrifice. They and their families are in my thoughts, in my prayers and in my heart."
U.S. Department of Defense
Meanwhile from VOA News:
August 06, 2011
Karzai: 31 US Special Forces Killed in Afghan Helicopter Crash
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says 31 members of U.S. special forces and seven members of an Afghan special unit have died in a helicopter crash in the eastern part of the country.
In a statement Saturday, President Karzai expressed his condolences to U.S. President Barack Obama and to the families of the victims. Officials say the crash in Wardak province represents the biggest death toll in a single incident for international forces in Afghanistan since the war began nearly 10 years ago.
The international coalition confirmed the crash in a statement, but it gave no additional details about the possible cause or any casualties. However, the coalition did say that reporting indicated there was enemy activity in the area.
The Taliban claimed it shot down the aircraft with a rocket when the helicopter attacked a house where insurgents had gathered. It said eight of its fighters died in the assault.
The group's claims have not been independently verified, and it has exaggerated incidents with foreign forces in the past.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.