Source Pravda.Ru

NATO Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan

A Tornado fighter jet crashed inside NATO's largest base in southern Afghanistan on Monday in the second major crash on the base in two days, officials said.

According to Capt. Ruben Hoornveld, a spokesman for the NATO-led force, the jet crashed inside Kandahar Airfield during takeoff at 7:20 a.m. Afghanistan time (0250 GMT). The two-member crew ejected and were being treated at the base hospital, The Associated Press reports.

"The incident took place after the helicopter took off from Kandahar airbase this morning, wounding two crew," he told Xinhua. However, he ruled out the involvement of hostile fire, saying the incident occurred due to technical problem.

Kandahar is the main base of NATO-led forces in southern Afghanistan where Taliban insurgents are active, Xinhua reports.

"The incident will be investigated, however, insurgent activity has been ruled out," the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

The ISAF spokeswoman said the crew ejected safely but had suffered some injuries. "Those injuries are being treated," the spokeswoman said.

Few other details were immediately available about the crash at the Kandahar Air Field, the alliance's main military base in southern Kandahar province, a Taliban stronghold.

The aircraft was on fire after the crash and Afghan forces were closing off roads leading to the sprawling base, just south of Kandahar City, officials said. The ISAF spokeswoman said some people were being evacuated from the area for their own safety, Reuters reports.

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