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Representational Image

Kabul:  At least 20 people were killed on Wednesday when a military helicopter crashed in Afghanistan’s Farah province. The dead included the region’s deputy commander and local politicians. Military spokesman Noor Ulhaq Khaliqi said two helicopters were flying together in the rugged Anar Dara district where the Taliban are active but gave no other details, Tolo News reported. But Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yusuf said the insurgent group downed the helicopter in a “direct attack”.

Among the dead were Farid Bakhtiar, the head of the provincial council of Farah and the deputy commander of the Army in the western region, according to Shah Mahmoud Nayemi of Farah’s provincial council, the report said. He said the helicopter hit a mountain side. The head of the Election Commission for the province was also killed, media reports said. Army spokesman Najibullah Najibi said there were more than 20 people were in the helicopter at the time of the crash and he believed there were no survivors. –

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