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Tue, Aug 09, 2011

Downed NATO Chinook Was Targeting Taliban Commander

CH-47 Was Bringing Reinforcements To Join Pinned-Down Army Rangers

CNN is reporting that the American commandos who died when their helicopter was apparently shot down in eastern Afghanistan early Saturday morning were targeting a Taliban commander directly responsible for attacks on U.S. troops, according to military officials with knowledge of the operation.

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The crash killed 38, 30 of them U.S. service members, making the incident the deadliest single day for Americans in the conflict officially called "Operation Enduring Freedom." Among the dead were 22 Navy SEALs who were being flown in to assist an Army Rangers unit pinned down by enemy fire in Wardak province.

The military officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the current location of the Taliban leader targeted are unclear.

A U.S. official confirmed the majority of the SEALs killed Saturday belong to the same covert "Team Six" that conducted the May raid that killed Osama bin Laden, though no individuals who actually participated in that raid were on the helicopter downed Saturday.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack, saying it was accomplished using a rocket-propelled grenade.

FMI: www.nato.int

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