Pakistan air ambulance helicopter crash kills nine

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (REUTERS) - A Pakistani military helicopter being used as an air ambulance crashed near the northern district of Mansehra on Thursday, and the 12 people on board were feared dead, military officials said.

Two security officials said there appeared to be no link to militant activity.

The helicopter was flying from the city of Rawalpindi, near Islamabad, to the northern area of Gilgit, which has been hit by floods.

"There were 12 people on board, all military men. There were doctors, paramedic and aviation people in the chopper," a senior military official said.

He said the helicopter crashed over the mountains in the Mohar area of northern Mansehra district.

"We are on the way to the spot of the chopper crash and I am afraid no one has survived but it's not confirmed yet," he said.

He said it appeared the helicopter may have crashed due to bad weather.

The incident is the second fatal crash involving Pakistani military helicopters this year. In May, a helicopter crash killed seven people, including three ambassadors.