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ighting terror

Copter crash kills 6

©Associated Press

March 24, 2003

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Air Force helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on Sunday, killing all six people on board, the U.S. military said.

The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter was on a medical evacuation mission when it crashed at about 7:50 p.m. (11:20 a.m. EST), about 18 miles north of Ghazni, Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

The cause is under investigation, but the statement said the helicopter was not shot down. The names of the crewmen killed have not been released while their relatives are notified.

U.S. military officials said the medical emergency and the helicopter flight was not in connection with Operation Valiant Strike, a mission involving members of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division in southeastern Afghanistan.

That mission, which began this month, is meant to root out remnants of the al-Qaida and Taliban believed to be operating in the area.

The last helicopter crash in Afghanistan was Jan. 30, when an Army Black Hawk helicopter -- the Army's version of the Pave Hawk -- crashed near the Bagram air base, killing four, while on a training mission.

-- Information from the Washington Post was used in this report.

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