KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Nine Western service members died Tuesday in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, making this the deadliest year for NATO in the nine-year war.
Military officials did not immediately disclose the nationalities of the dead or say precisely where the crash happened. Two other Western troops, an Afghan soldier and an American civilian were injured, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.
But an ISAF official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly, said the crash took place in Zabul province, a Taliban stronghold. A provincial spokesman said the chopper went down in the Daichopan district.
Combat deaths in June and July had spiked to the highest levels of the conflict. With Tuesday's crash, according to icasualties.org, 529 members of the international force have been killed this year. The previous high was 2009, when 521 Western troops were killed, according to the website's tally.