NATO Troops Killed In British Helicopter Crash

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - NATO is investigating what led to the crash of a British helicopter today in southern Afghanistan that killed five coalition troops.

A Taliban spokesman claimed in a text message to journalists that the insurgents shot down the helicopter. But NATO says it had no reports of enemy activity in the area.

The United Kingdom's Defense Ministry confirmed that the helicopter was British, but could not confirm the nationalities of the dead.

If the dead are British, the crash would be one of the deadliest air accidents involving Britain's forces in Afghanistan. In September 2006, a surveillance aircraft exploded in mid-air while supporting NATO ground operations near Kandahar, killing all 14 servicemen on board.

Also today, an official identified the two Americans who were killed along with Chicago pediatrician Jerry Umanos (yoo-MAH'-nohs) at a Kabul hospital on Thursday. A Kabul University vice chancellor says John Gabel and his visiting father were shot to death by a security guard. Gabel worked for the U.S.-based charity Morning Star Development and ran a health clinic at Kabul university. His wife was wounded in the attack.