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7 American Troops Killed in Afghan Helicopter Crash -- Taliban Claims Responsibility

KABUL, Afghanistan (The Blaze/AP) -- Seven American troops were among the 11 people killed in a Blackhawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

A Taliban spokesman said the insurgents shot down the aircraft, but NATO said the cause of the crash was still under investigation.

A spokesman for the alliance, Jamie Graybeal, said seven American service members were among the dead in Thursday's crash of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. He said four Afghans died - a civilian interpreter and three members of the Afghan security forces.

Graybeal declined to give any details of the aircraft's mission.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said insurgent fighters shot down the helicopter in Kandahar province on Thursday morning.

"Nobody survived this," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by phone.

The coalition did not comment on the Taliban claims.

The helicopter went down in Kandahar's Shah Wali Kot district, which lies in the northern part of the province, a spokesman for the provincial government said.

"We don't know if it was shot down by the Taliban, or if it had mechanical problems," said the spokesman, Ahmad Jawed Faisal.

Last August, insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter, killing 30 Americans, most of whom were elite Navy SEALs, in Afghanistan's central Wardak province.

At least 221 American service members have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

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