12 Turkish solders killed in Afghan helicopter crash

Twelve Turkish soldiers died today in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The Turkish military helicopter, a Sikorsky, was on an International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) mission when it went down.

A statement from the Turkish military said the cause of the accident was not known.

A house hit by the helicopter was reported earlier to have collapsed. Rescue workers were searching through the rubble to determine whether there were any more casualties.

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed that a Turkish helicopter crashed near Kabul.

Mr Davutoglu said the Turkish commander of the Kabul regional command has left for the area.

The aircraft went down in the Hassian Khail area of the Bagrami district of Kabul province.

Two young girls on the ground were also killed, officials said. A woman and another child were injured.

Mr Davutoglu told reporters it appeared that the helicopter crashed while trying to make an emergency landing and that the pilot tried to avoid houses.

“It is a grave accident, our grief is deep,” he said.

There was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash, said Nato.

The helicopter clipped one house and then crashed into another, a witness said.

The crash was the deadliest in Afghanistan for Nato forces since August, when 30 American troops died when a Chinook helicopter was apparently shot down in Wardak province in the centre of the country.

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