KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A spokesman for the NATO coalition in Afghanistan says it's investigating the cause of today's crash of a Black Hawk helicopter in Kandahar province that killed seven American troops and four Afghans.
U.S. officials say initial reports indicated that the chopper was not shot down.
But the Taliban claim that their fighters did, in fact, shoot down the aircraft.
The crash marked another deadly day for the U.S. in Afghanistan, less than a week after six American service members were gunned down -- apparently by two members of the Afghan security forces they were training.
The spike in U.S. deaths and the attacks from within the Afghan military have raised fresh doubts about the U.S. plan to leave a capable Afghan government in place when most U.S. and coalition troops depart.
The province where today's crash took place is a traditional Taliban stronghold. It's the spiritual birthplace of the hardline Islamist movement.
U.S. officials say three of the seven Americans who were killed were special operations forces -- two Navy SEALS and a Navy explosives expert.
200-a-07-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"in that incident"-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the administration is saddened to hear of today's deadly crash of the Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan. (16 Aug 2012)
<<CUT *200 (08/16/12)>> 00:07 "in that incident"
178-a-11-(General Brigadier General Gunter Katz (GOON'-tur kahtz), NATO's chief military spokesman in Afghanistan, in AP interview)-"their lives today"-German Brigadier General Gunter Katz, NATO's chief military spokesman in Afghanistan, says the crash killed 11 people, including seven American troops. (16 Aug 2012)
<<CUT *178 (08/16/12)>> 00:11 "their lives today"
176-v-28-(Sagar Meghani (SAH'-gur meh-GAH'-nee), AP national security correspondent, with German Brigadier General Gunter Katz, NATO's chief military spokesman in Afghanistan)--A helicopter crash in Afghanistan has killed 11 people, including some American troops. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports. (16 Aug 2012)
<<CUT *176 (08/16/12)>> 00:28
GRAPHICSBANK: US military UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, over AFGHANISTAN map with KANDAHAR province locator, partial graphic (16 Aug 2012)
APPHOTO GFX468: Map locates helicopter crash in Afghanistan; (16 Aug 2012)
<<APPHOTO GFX468 (08/16/12)>>