Kabul, December 18 (RHC)-- At least six U.S.-led foreign soldiers serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been killed after their military helicopter went down in southern Afghanistan.
A statement issued by the occupation forces said that the cause of the crash was under investigation, but that initial reports indicated that there was no 'enemy activity' in the area of the crash. The report did not provide any information about the identity of the occupation soldiers and the exact location of the incident.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the deaths, saying their members had shot down a U.S. helicopter in the southern province of Zabul.
According to figures released by the website icasualties.org, the overall number of U.S.-led soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan stands at 149 -- out of which 119 are American.
Earlier, the Taliban announced the start of their annual offensive against U.S.-led and Afghan forces, vowing they would use "every possible tactic" to inflict casualties on Afghan and U.S. backed forces -- specifically pointing to "insider" attacks and bombings. The announcement prompted Afghan authorities to beef up security in major cities across the country, including the capital city of Kabul.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still gripped by insecurity.
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