CH-47 Chinook helicopter takes off in Afghanistan (June 26 2005 file photo)
The U.S. military says 17 American troops were on board a helicopter that crashed in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday, but their fate was not immediately clear.

A statement issued in Kabul Wednesday, said initial reports indicate that hostile fire may have caused the Chinook helicopter to crash west of the town of Asadabad.

It said the helicopter was transporting troops as part of an ongoing operation against suspected Taleban and al-Qaida terrorists in Kunar province that borders Pakistan.

The military says U.S. and Afghan forces quickly secured the crash site, with coalition support aircraft flying overhead.

Local Afghan officials say the aircraft was hit by a rocket fired by Taleban rebels. But they did not provide details.

Some information for this report for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.