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Special Operations Mission Targeted Taliban Leader in Tangi Valley

ISAF Joint Command - Afghanistan
UPDATE: 2011-08-C-017
For Immediate Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (Aug. 8, 2011) – Thirty eight coalition members were killed on August 6th when a coalition CH-47 crashed while on a mission that targeted a Taliban leader in the Tangi Valley, Sayyidabad district, Wardak province.

The helicopter was reportedly fired on by an insurgent rocket-propelled grenade while transporting the U.S. service members and commandos to the scene of an on-going engagement between ISAF and insurgents forces.

The U.S. service members on board included five aircrew and 25 personnel from the U.S. Special Operations Command.

The operation began as a security search for a Taliban leader responsible for insurgent operations in the nearby Tangi Valley. After commencing the search, the initial security force on the ground observed several insurgents, armed with rocket propelled grenade launchers and AK-47 assault rifles, moving through the area.

The security force and insurgents exchanged small arms fire, resulting in several enemies killed.

As the insurgents continued to fire, the combined force on the ground requested additional forces to assist the operation. Those additional personnel were in-bound to the scene when the CH-47 carrying them crashed, killing all on board.

Immediately following the crash, the forces already on the ground broke contact with the insurgents and moved to the crash site to secure the scene and search for survivors. Additional security elements deployed from a nearby forward operating base to augment the search and security efforts.

An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the crash.