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HELICOPTER CRASH KILLS FOREIGN ENVOYS IN PAKISTAN

8 May 2015 International News News Uncategorized


PAKISTANAn army helicopter has crashed in a mountainous part of northern Pakistan killing six people including the Philippine and Norwegian ambassadors.

It crashed during an emergency landing in the Gilgit-Baltistan territory.

The wives of the Indonesian and Malaysian envoys and two Pakistani pilots also died. They were to attend the opening of a tourism project.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) said they were behind the attack, but there is no confirmation of the claim.

This is one of the most tragic aviation disasters for the Pakistani military in decades. The last time one of its air crashes killed a foreign diplomat was in 1988 when a C-130, carrying then military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq, US Ambassador Arnold Raphel and several of the army top brass, crashed in southern Pakistan, killing all on board.

The helicopter was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile,” a statement by Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said.

However military spokesman Asim Bajwa said on Twitter that the crash had been caused by a technical fault. The area is not a stronghold of the Taliban.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to attend the inauguration, but his aircraft turned back from Gilgit after reports of the crash.

He said five others were injured, including the Polish and Dutch ambassadors.

Eleven foreigners and six Pakistanis were on board the MI-17 helicopter when it came down in the Naltar valley, he added.
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The helicopter hit a building belonging to an army school in Gilgit-Baltistan. The building caught fire but no children were in class at the time.


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