Thursday, December 8, 2022

Military Helicopter Crashes in Southwest Pakistan, 6 Soldiers Killed

Balochistan Pakistan

Islamabad — Pakistan’s military said Monday that one of its helicopters crashed in a turbulent southwestern district, killing all six soldiers on board.

The helicopter went down during a “flying mission” in Khost, a remote town in the province of Baluchistan late on Sunday and two major-ranked officers were among the dead, an army statement said. It shared no further details, nor did it give any reason for the crash or type of aircraft.

The so-called Balochistan Liberation Army insurgent group claimed in a statement it had shot down the helicopter. It said the helicopter had arrived in the area to rescue two army officers BLA militants had kidnapped in an ambush in the district.

The claims could not be verified immediately from independent sources and insurgents often release exaggerated details about their activities in the region.

Outlawed ethnic Baluch groups routinely plot attacks against military targets in the impoverished Pakistani province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

Early last month, six senior Pakistani military officers were killed when their helicopter crashed due to bad weather during a flood relief activity in Baluchistan’s Lasbela district. An army lieutenant general, a major-general and a brigadier were among those killed.

Heavy monsoon rains have caused catastrophic flooding in parts of Pakistan, including Baluchistan, killing more than 1,600 people and washing away villages, roads, bridges and hundreds of thousands of homes since mid-June.

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