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Posted: 12/21/2002 8:28:09 AM EDT
According to various news reports, witnesses say seven people in a German military helicopter and up to eight on the ground - including two children and five peacekeepers - were killed. Kabul Police Chief Bashir Salangi said the peacekeepers were believed to be German. The German Defense Ministry said the helicopter, a Sikorsky CH-53, belonged to its military. Germany is due to take over joint command next year of the 22-nation International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is charged with keeping the peace in the Afghan capital. The ISAF has deployed 4,800 troops in Kabul to bring security to the war-ravaged city of 2.5 million people. The crash came a day after Germany's Parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend by a year the mandate of German troops in the Afghan security force, doubling the country's troop contingent to 2,500. In addition, US military officials have asked Germany to provide 2,000 soldiers as security personnel to protect American installations in Germany, to free US personnel for the war against Iraq, which is scheduled to begin early January 2003.
Link Posted: 12/21/2002 8:32:51 AM EDT
Picture of the crash site: [img]http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,231249,00.jpg[/img]
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