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Spanish Defense Minister Arrives In Afghanistan

17 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono arrived in Afghanistan today to visit the site where a helicopter crashed --> killing 17 NATO peacekeepers from Spain.

Bono has not ruled out that the chopper might have been brought down by hostile fire. It crashed on 16 August during an exercise near the western city of Herat.

There were no survivors.

A second helicopter that carried Spanish troops flying nearby made an emergency landing that slightly wounded five soldiers.

The helicopters were involved in an exercise ahead of Afghan parliamentary polls next month.