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Afghan Army Helicopter Crashes, Killing All 25 On Board

An Afghan army helicopter carrying provincial government officials and soldiers crashed in southwestern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing all 25 people on board.

The crash occurred in the western Farah province, Reuters reports. The Afghan deputy corps commander of the western zone, Gen. Naimudullah Khalil, was reportedly on board, as was Farid Bakhtawar, the "outspoken" head of Farah's provincial council.

A spokesman for the provincial governor told Reuters that the craft lost control in a low visibility area and crashed into a mountain.

The helicopter's crew as well as soldiers and other council members were among the dead.

The crash occurred shortly after the helicopter took off from the mountainous Anar Dara district, about 9:10 a.m. local time, a spokesman for the Farah governor told The Associated Press. The craft was heading toward nearby Herat province.

The Taliban claimed its militants took the helicopter down, Agence France Presse and Reuters report.

"Wednesday's was the second army helicopter crash in as many months in Farah," the AP reports. "In September, five crew members died when their helicopter crashed. Investigators blamed the crash on a technical failure, without elaborating."

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