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Top Afghan Army General Killed In Helicopter Crash

General Mohayedin Ghori was the army corps commander for western Afghanistan.

A top general in the Afghan National Army has been killed, and at least seven other officials have been injured, in a military helicopter crash in Afghanistan's northwestern province of Badghis.

A spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry told RFE/RL that General Mohayedin Ghori, the army corps commander for western Afghanistan, was killed when the helicopter attempted an emergency landing on November 29 in the Muri Chaq area of the Badghis Province's Bala Murghab district.

The spokesman, Mohammad Radmanish, said the crash of the Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter was the result of a "technical malfunction" and was not caused by militants or any hostile attack.

However, the Taliban issued a statement on November 29 claiming responsibility for the crash -- saying Taliban militants had shot the helicopter down.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement describing the death of General Ghori as a "big loss" for the Afghan security forces and the Afghan people.

The U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan also issued a statement expressing condolences over the death of the Afghan general.

Ghori commanded the 207th Corps and was one of the six regional commanders of the Afghan National Army.

He had just completed a visit to a newly established Afghan army base in Badghis Province's Bala Murghab district when the crash occurred.

That base is near the Murghab River close to the border with Turkmenistan -- a volatile area where Afghan security forces had recently pushed back a major Taliban offensive.

Radmanish said seven others injured in the crash were Afghan military officers and officials who had accompanied General Ghori on the visit.

He said the head of Badghis's provincial council and the chief of provincial intelligence were among those hurt.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and dpa