Five Nato troops die after chopper crashes in Afghan

KABUL (AFP) - Five members of the Nato-led international force fighting in Afghanistan were killed in a helicopter crash in the south of the country, the coalition said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The cause of the crash is under investigation. However, initial reporting indicates there was no enemy activity in the area at the time," it said following the incident on Monday.

The International Security Assistance Force does not release the nationality of casualties, but US, British and Australian soldiers operate in the south of Afghanistan, battling an Islamist insurgency.

Helicopter crashes are fairly frequent in Afghanistan, where the 100,000-strong Nato mission relies heavily on air transport.

Last August, seven American soldiers and four Afghans died when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the southern province of Kandahar. Taliban militants claimed responsibility for bringing down the aircraft.

In August 2011, an American Chinook was shot down by the Taliban near Kabul, killing eight Afghans and 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs from the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in neighbouring Pakistan earlier that year.

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