NATO says that the 30 U.S. troops and seven Afghan soldiers who died in a weekend helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan were on a mission targeting a Taliban leader.
The alliance, in a statement released on August 8, said the chopper was involved in the search for a Taliban leader responsible for insurgent operations in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province.
The statement said an insurgent with a rocket-propelled grenade reportedly fired on the helicopter, which was transporting the U.S. and Afghan troops to the scene of an ongoing fight between coalition forces and insurgents.
U.S. Defense Department spokesman Dave Lapan sought to dispel concerns about a Taliban resurgence, saying that "this one single incident does not represent any kind of watershed or trend."
The crash was the single deadliest incident involving foreign troops since the war began in Afghanistan.
Separately, NATO said earlier that another of its helicopters made a hard landing today in southeastern Afghanistan.
The cause of the hard landing in Paktia Province was under investigation and no casualties were reported.
compiled from agency reports