A US military helicopter has been destroyed after a “hard landing” in Afghanistan that left all passengers and crew onboard injured.
Colonel David Butler, a spokesman for US Forces Afghanistan, said a CH-47 Chinook helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in the country’s southern province of Helmand on Saturday.
Butler said the helicopter had been totally destroyed during the landing, adding that, “both Afghan and US personnel were injured but all are stable and expected to recover.”
The American official ruled out the possibility of any “hostile fire or enemy contact” in the incident.
Chinooks are the workhorse aircraft for foreign forces in Afghanistan and are used to transfer troops and supplies across the country.
The incident comes as a wave of assaults by the Taliban militants has forced the Afghan and American militaries to make far greater use of air transport to move troops and supplies. Inadequate training and poor planning have, however, led to frequent crashes.
The war-wracked country has been struggling to stop scores of deadly attacks by the Taliban militant group almost across the country over the past months.
The Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end when the United States and its allies invaded the country on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror; but ever since, the group has been involved in widespread militancy.
Many parts of the country remain under militant control despite the years-long presence of US-led foreign forces in the country.
Daesh, which has already been defeated in Syria and Iraq, has also taken advantage of the chaos in Afghanistan and established a foothold in the country’s eastern and northern regions.
The administration of President Donald Trump is now negotiating with the Taliban in an attempt to discourage the group from attacking US troops.
The Taliban have stepped up attacks on security installations in their so-called spring offensive amid direct talks with the United States, rejecting calls by the US’s chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad to lay down their arms.