At least nine people were killed when two Afghan National Army (ANA) MI-17 helicopters “crashed due to technical issues” in the Nawa district of Helmand early on Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
The MoD stated that the incident happened at 1:15 am local time and is being investigated.
Previously, security sources said that between eight to 15 people were killed after two helicopters collided in Nawa.
The incident happened after the helicopters had dropped commandos off and were carrying wounded security forces, the sources said.
Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor, confirmed there was an incident in the Nawa district but has not provided details.
Clashes have been ongoing over the past four days in several parts of Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand, and Nadi Ali district after the Taliban attacked the city and the district on Sunday.
On Monday night, Afghan commandos with air support launched an operation in Lashkargah, local officials said on Tuesday.
The operation is still ongoing and involves the 601 highway, Nad Ali district, and the Babaji area in PD4 of Lashkargah, officials said on Tuesday. “So far 23 Taliban have been killed and the security forces have created five new checkpoints in Nad Ali district following the Taliban attack three days earlier.
“Six other Taliban were wounded during the operation,” officials added.
On Monday, spokespeople for US forces in Afghanistan said that several targeted strikes were conducted in Helmand to support Afghan security forces under attack by the Taliban in the last few days.
“Over the past two days US Forces-Afghanistan has conducted several targeted strikes in Helmand to defend the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) under attack by Taliban fighters, consistent with the US-Taliban agreement,” said US forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett.
Col. Leggett said USFOR-A will continue to provide support in defense of the ANDSF under attack by the Taliban.