Spain copter probe rules out Afghan attack
MADRID: Spanish investigators probing a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, which killed 17 peacekeepers, have ruled out the possibility that it was shot down, El Pais newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Cougar helicopter came down near the western city of Herat on Tuesday, killing all 17 troops who had been serving with the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF). A second helicopter then carried out an emergency landing injuring five slightly.
Defence Minister Jose Bono said on Tuesday that the helicopter could have been downed by an attack or an accident. A senior Taliban commander, Mullah Dadullah said guerrillas had shot down the helicopter but offered no proof. But on Sunday newspapers El Pais and ABC, which quoted sources at the National Intelligence Centre, said no indications of an attack had been found.
Herat is in a relatively secure part of Afghanistan and the Taliban and its Islamic allies are less active there than in other parts of the country. reuters