A file photo of an Afghan Air Corps Mi-17 helicopter
An Afghan military helicopter has crashed due to a technical failure in northern Afghanistan, leaving all the seven people on board dead, officials say.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said the incident occurred in the country’s northern province of Baghlan early on Sunday when the helicopter was supplying an army base in the Dand-e-Ghori district.
“Around 4 a.m., two Mi-17 helicopters were supplying a base in Qorghan Tepa of Baghlan, and one of them caught fire due to technical failure and crashed,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Four crew members and three army soldiers were martyred in the incident,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Taliban militants have claimed they shot down the copter.
Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, rejected the claim.
Mi-17 helicopters are used as cargo ships, but are also suitable for operations in Afghanistan’s mountain regions.
The development comes as Afghan forces are battling to push out Taliban from the neighboring province of Kunduz after a raid by the militants last week.
Afghanistan is gripped by insecurity nearly 14 years after the United States and its allies attacked the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. Although the attack overthrew the Taliban, the militants remain active and carry out attacks in parts of the country.