- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
10 U.S. soldiers killed in helicopter crash
Question of the Day
KABUL, Afghanistan — Ten U.S. soldiers died when their helicopter crashed during combat operations aimed at flushing out militants from remote mountains in eastern Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.
The crash of the CH-47 Chinook Friday afternoon was the deadliest for U.S. forces here in a year and took place at a time of increasing militant attacks, though U.S. officials ruled out hostile fire as a cause.
“There is no indication that the helicopter came down due to some enemy action,” said Lt. Tamara D. Lawrence, a coalition spokeswoman.
Some 2,500 Afghan and U.S. soldiers are conducting a joint military campaign, dubbed Operation Mountain Lion, in Kunar province near the border with Pakistan. It is one of the biggest offensives since the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime by U.S.-led forces in late 2001 for hosting al Qaeda.
The transport helicopter was conducting “operations on a mountaintop landing zone” when it crashed near Asadabad in Kunar, about 150 miles east of the capital, Kabul, the military said.
The terrain surrounding Asadabad — where the U.S. military has a large base — is extremely rugged. Recovery operations did not begin until daybreak yesterday. The military did not say what unit the U.S. troops were from, only specifying that they were soldiers.
The 10 deaths brought to at least 25 the number of U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan this year, according to the Web site icasualties.org, which relies on Defense Department information.
A purported Taliban spokesman, Mohammed Hanif, called the Associated Press to claim that Taliban militants had shot down the helicopter using a “new weapon,” which he refused to specify.
The phone call did not come until after news of the crash was made public, and Lt. Lawrence dismissed the claim.
Last June, all 16 troops on board a Chinook died in Kunar when it was hit by a militant’s rocket-propelled grenade — the deadliest attack against American forces in Afghanistan.
In September, a Chinook helicopter crashed in a mountainous area in southeastern province of Zabul, killing all five American crew members.
News of the crash came the same day a top U.S. official called parts of Pakistan’s mountainous border region a “safe haven” for militants and said Osama bin Laden was more likely to be hiding there than in Afghanistan.
Henry Crumpton, the U.S. ambassador in charge of counterterrorism, lauded Pakistan for arresting “hundreds and hundreds” of al Qaeda figures, but said it needed to do more.
The chief spokesman for Pakistan’s army, Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, dismissed Mr. Crumpton’s assertions as “absurd.”
Pakistan has launched repeated counterterrorism operations in its lawless tribal regions over the past two years and hundreds of militants and soldiers have been killed.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- FENNO: Honestly, Mike Shanahan, why should we believe you now?
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow