International Forces Kill Taliban Insurgents Responsible for Shooting Down US Helicopter
In a Pentagon news conference on Wednesday, Marine Corps Gen. John Allen said international forces killed the Taliban fighters that shot down a Chinook helicopter last weekend, killing 38 US and Afghan forces.
The top insurgent leader remains at large and other details are vague, but a statement from the International Security Assistance Force said, “After an exhaustive manhunt, Special Operations forces located [Taliban leader] Mullah Mohibullah and the [individual who shot down the helicopter] after receiving multiple intelligence leads and tips from local citizens. The two men were attempting to flee the country in order to avoid capture.”
The helicopter, carrying special operations forces, was sent in to pursue insurgents fleeing from a weekend firefight with Army Rangers in a dangerous region in eastern Afghanistan. Allen defended the mission, saying, “We’ve run more than a couple of thousand of these night operations over the last year, and this is the only occasion where this has occurred … It’s not uncommon at all to use this aircraft on our special missions.”
Twenty-two Navy SEAL personnel, three Air Force airmen, a five-member Army air crew and a military dog, along with seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter, were killed when the helicopter was shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade on Saturday.