Kabul: A total of 31 members of the US Special Forces have died in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan along with seven Afghans, a statement from Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s office said Saturday.
"The president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai expressed condolences over a NATO helicopter crash and the deaths of 31 members of US special forces," the statement said.
The crash late Friday represents the biggest death toll in a single incident for international forces in Afghanistan since the start of the war in 2001.
Seven Afghans were also killed in the crash, the statement said, taking the total death toll in the incident to 38.
The Afghan defence ministry said they were also special forces.
WASHINGTON — The Associated Press has learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. That’s according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones.
One source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.
The sources thought this was the largest single loss of life ever for SEAL Team Six, known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.