Twenty-five people died after an Afghan army helicopter crashed in bad weather.
The crash happened in the western Farah province, which borders Iran. All 25 people on board were killed, including the deputy commander of the western zone, a provincial spokesman said yesterday.
General Naimudullah Khalil died alongside two members of the Farah provincial council, including chairman Farid Bakhtawar.
Mohammad Naser Mehri, spokesman for the Farah governor, said the helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the mountainous Anar Dara district at around 9.10am (4.40am GMT). It was heading towards nearby Herat province.
The Taliban claimed its militants brought it down, while provincial council member Dadullah Qaneh said the helicopter hit a mountain peak in poor weather. Helicopter crashes are not uncommon in the mountainous country.
In September, five crew members died when their helicopter crashed. Investigators blamed the crash on a technical failure, but did not provide further explanation. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a suicide bomb attack took place outside the country’s largest prison on the edge of the capital Kabul.
No one has claimed the attack which claimed the lives of seven people, including prison workers and security personnel, the interior ministry said. The attacker targeted a bus carrying prison workers, he said. The Pul-e-Charkhi prison houses hundreds of inmates, including a large number of Taliban insurgents.
Abadullah Karimi, a prison official, said the attack occurred near the prison gate where visitors were waiting to pass a rigorous security check before entering.