14 Americans Killed In Afghanistan Helicopter Crashes
Two helicopters collided in midair, and in an separate incident, a chopper went down after a firefight with insurgents. Eleven troops and three civilians died. It’s one of the heaviest one-day losses for American forces.
The surge in troop deaths comes less than two weeks before a runoff presidential election, which is expected to be a lightning rod for insurgent violence. It also comes as the Obama administration is weighing the reported request of its top commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, for a substantial troop increase.
The loss of life and aircraft pointed up the extent to which Western forces in Afghanistan are dependent on helicopters. In much of the country, terrain is extremely rough, distances long and roads all but impassable. Roadside bombs add to the danger of ground transport.
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