Mon, Jan 23, 2006
Flying For Red Cross In Earthquake Relief Efforts
NATO forces have scaled back their search for a Mi-8 helicopter
that went down Sunday as it was returning from a relief flight into
earthquake-stricken Pakistan. Seven Turkish crewmembers were
onboard the Russian-made helo, which had been chartered by the Red
The helicopter (file photo of type, above) was last seen on
Friday, according to Agence France-Presse, and no one knows what
caused the copter to disappear.
A coalition of NATO forces and US forces operating in
Afghanistan assisted in the search, but to no avail.
"Where possible we are going to follow the same flight path [as
the helicopter] and keep an eye out for it," said NATO spokesman
Andy Elmes. However, "the focused search that we carried out for
two days -- we are not able to keep that up anymore... We have to
get on with our operations."
Afghan defense ministry
officials state the Mi-8 was last seen on its radar screens at
12:13 local time Friday flying over Nangarhar province, in eastern
Afghanistan, after it departed from the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
It was reportedly heading to refuel in the Afghan capital of Kabul,
before returning to is base in Turkmenistan.
"We have been searching for this chopper for 48 hours but
there's no sign of it," Afghan deputy transport minister Raz
Mohammed Alami told the Associated Press.
"If it had gone down on our side of the border, we would have
found it," he added.
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