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2 US service members die in Afghanistan helicopter crash

A U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter crewed by 1st Lt. Chuck Nadd, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Darren Dreher, Staff Sgt. Bruce Kleckner, and Sgt. Jay Herring, all members of Task Force Phoenix, flies a personnel movement mission over Kabul, Afghanistan, Sept. 4, 2013. (Capt. Peter Smedberg/U.S. Army)
November 20, 2019

Two U.S. service member died early Wednesday in a helicopter crash that occurred in Afghanistan.

A NATO Resolute Support statement confirmed the incident and said that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, but it did not initially appear to be caused by enemy fire.

The identities of the two fallen service members will not be released for 24 hours until next of kin notification can be completed.

The Taliban immediately claimed credit for the attack, which the U.S. has refuted as false.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Associated Press that the group was responsible for downing a U.S. Chinook helicopter at approximately 1 a.m. local time during a hostile engagement with “invaders and their hirelings” in the Logar province.

The latest two casualties mark 19 U.S. deaths in Afghanistan this year, in addition to three non-combat deaths.

The previous deaths in Afghanistan occurred in September.

The U.S. has been attempting to revive peace talks with the Taliban in recent weeks.

The Afghan government and the Taliban completed a prisoner swap this week, involving the Afghan’s release of three high profile Taliban prisoners in exchange for the Taliban’s release of an American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks who had been abducted and imprisoned three years ago.