The headline of this posting has been corrected and this note added to reflect the fact that many of the crash victims were members of the same Navy SEAL unit that killed Osama bin Laden, and that they were not the actual Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden.
Months after the Navy SEALs’ historic hunting down of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, the Taliban is claiming credit for one of the deadliest crashes involving U.S. forces in recent memory, according to the Associated Press.
A military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan, killing 31 U.S. special operation troops, most of them from the elite Navy SEALs unit that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, along with seven Afghan commandos. It was the deadliest single incident for American forces in the decade-long war.
The Taliban claimed they downed the helicopter with rocket fire while it was taking part in a raid on a house where insurgents were gathered in the province of Wardak late Friday. It said wreckage of the craft was strewn at the scene. A senior U.S. administration official in Washington said the craft was apparently shot down by insurgents. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the crash is still being investigated.
President Obama praised the sacrifice of the troops in a timely statement. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the Americans who were lost earlier today in Afghanistan,” Obama said. “Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan.”
Read more at the Associated Press.
In other news: America’s Credit Rating Downgraded.