Nine soldiers killed as two helicopters collide in Afghanistan

Nine soldiers killed as two helicopters collide in Afghanistan”

At least 15 people are feared dead after two Afghan air force helicopters collided midair in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, according to local news channel TOLO news.

The helicopters developed technical problems while taking off in Nawa district late Tuesday, killing nine people who were part of the Afghan crew and soldiers on board the two aircraft. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told VOA Wednesday its fighters were consolidating their positions in Helmand but no "major offensive is now underway" there.

Fighting was ongoing in at least four districts on Wednesday, Afghan officials said, adding that security forces have repelled repeated Taliban assaults in the area.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media about military activities, Washington Post reports.

Leggett said that USA forces have and will continue to provide support in defense of Afghan national security forces under attack by the Taliban.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said thousands had fled and called on Taliban fighters and security forces "to take all feasible measures to protect civilians, including safe paths for those wishing to leave" the area.

While one of the conditions of the February deal has been met - the belated start of intra-Afghan talks - Milley hedged when asked about others, both in the peace deal and in verbal agreements with the Americans, that would influence the withdrawal of American troops.

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US President Donald Trump, evidently without consulting his top generals or advisors on the matter, sent out another one of his controversial tweets, stating that all US soldiers now in Afghanistan would be home by Christmas.

The announcement of United States strikes followed gun battles on Monday in and around Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

"Scores of militants armed with guns and rocket propelled grenades stormed the security checkpoints and tried to capture the control of the district offices".

"I hadn't even chosen a name for him", she said.

He blamed the Taliban for the attack and said reinforcements were dispatched to the still-raging gunbattle.

He said the civilians were traveling to a wedding in another village in Kush-i Kohna district when the blast struck their vehicle.

Separately, three civilians were killed and 14 wounded in the eastern province of Laghman by a magnetic explosive device attached to a police vehicle, said Shafiullah Afghanyar, a provincial police spokesman.

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