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Pakistani Chopper Crashes into School, 2 Ambassadors Killed

8 May 2015 22:43


Two ambassadors, and the wives of two other ambassadors, were among six people killed when a helicopter crashed Friday into a school in northern Pakistan.

helicopter crash in Pakistan

Pakistan’s military believes a mechanical problem caused the Mi-17 helicopter to go down, army spokesman Gen. Asim Bajwa told CNN, citing an initial investigation.

But a spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, known as the TTP or Pakistani Taliban, insists this was no accident. Members of his militant group used a surface-to-air, shoulder-fired missile, Mohammed Khurrassani said.

The Taliban spokesman said militants had “a special plan to target” Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his anticipated visit to Pakistan’s Naltar Valley. Sharif wasn’t part of the delegation in Naltar, but the TTP — according to Khurrassani — carried throu

gh nonetheless.

Khurrassani appeared to warn of future attacks using SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles.

“We will soon unveil to the entire world the shoulder-launch missile SAM-7 and its training,” he said.

Those killed include Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen and Philippines Ambassador Domingo D. Lucenario Jr., as well as the wives of Indonesia and Malaysia’s top diplomats in the Asian nation, and the two pilots, according to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a statement from the Philippines’ foreign affairs department, the 54-year-old Lucenario was remembered as a decorated “career ambassador” who had worked out of Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Afghanistan and Kenya, where his jurisdiction included 12 African countries.

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