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Afghan Army Helicopter Crash, Suicide Blast Kill Over 30


FILE - Afghan pilots train in a military helicopter to use new rockets, on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, December 2014.

An Afghan military helicopter carrying senior officers crashed in the western province of Farah early Wednesday, killing at least 25 people on board.

A provincial government spokesman told VOA the aircraft went down shortly after taking off from the mountainous Anar Dara district for neighboring Herat province next to the Iranian border.

Nasir Mehri confirmed the deputy corps commander for western Afghanistan and the head of Farah’s provincial council were among those killed. He blamed bad weather for causing the crash.

The Taliban said its fighters shot down the Afghan National Army (ANA) helicopter, though it was not possible to independently verify the insurgent claims.

Separately, Afghan authorities confirmed a early morning suicide blast at the entrance of the country’s largest prison in Kabul killed at least six people and wounded many more.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The bomber targeted a bus for female staff of the Pul-e-Charkhi jail, located in an eastern part of the national capital, said Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid. He said police personnel and civilians were among the victims.