WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. That’s according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones.
One source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.
The sources thought this was the largest single loss of life ever for SEAL Team Six, known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
A helicopter crash in Afghanistan killed 31 Americans, including as many as 25 Navy SEALs in one of the worst single-day U.S. losses of life since the war began, a senior military official told ABC News early this morning.
A total of 38 people were on board the Chinook helicopter when it crashed overnight in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak.
Initial reports indicate up to 25 Navy SEALs were on the aircraft at the time.
It was also carrying seven Afghan Special Forces troops, one interpreter, five member helicopter crew and one dog.
Troops were apparently involved in a raid at the time.
The helicopter was taking the personnel back to their base after an operation.
Neither the US nor Nato have confirmed the cause, but witnesses, officials and the Taliban say it was shot down.