Thu, Jun 30, 2005
No Survivors In Apparent Shoot-Down
The US military has recovered the bodies of the aircrew and
passengers aboard a MH-47 Chinook helicopter that was reported shot
down by insurgents in eastern Afghanistan June 28, the Defense
Department announced Thursday.
"We have recovered all 16 bodies of those servicemen who were
onboard," Marine Lt. Gen. James Conway, the Joint Staff's
operations director, told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.
Original reports had said 17 servicemembers were on the
Positive identification of the deceased as well as family
notification is ongoing, Conway said. "We do extend our sincere
condolences to the families and friends of those servicemembers
involved in this incident," he said.
Witnesses reported that an
enemy-fired rocket-propelled grenade had struck the helicopter,
Conway said. The helicopter, which carried special operations
troops, was dispatched to assist in an anti-terrorist operation,
Conway said, which he noted is still "ongoing."
Some news reports have speculated that a number of U.S. ground
troops may have been captured during the operation. Conway and
Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita told reporters that no U.S.
military members involved in the operation have been classified as
missing at this point. Di Rita emphasized that it was important not
to discuss particulars about the operation until it was
"When we have more to announce, we'll announce it," Di Rita
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