News24

Pentagon: US crash tragic, but no trend

2011-08-08 20:06

Washington - The US defence department says the helicopter crash that killed 30 US troops and eight Afghans was a tragic loss but does not signal a rise in Taliban strength.

Pentagon spokesperson Colonel Dave Lapan says the Taliban's downing of the Chinook with a rocket-propelled-grenade on Saturday should be seen as a single combat incident and not a watershed moment in an escalating war.

The crash in eastern Afghanistan that killed 22 elite Navy commandos, Air Force troops and an Army air crew underscores the risks as the US begins to turn over portions of the country to Afghan forces, while concentrating more on ferreting out insurgents operating along the border.

Military officials said the troops in the helicopter crash were on a mission to assist forces going after a Taliban leader.