Pentagon- Two die in helicopter crash in Pakistan

Saturday, October 20, 2001

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. helicopter supporting a commando raid in Afghanistan crashed Friday in neighboring Pakistan, killing two people in the first combat-related American deaths of the military campaign.

A brief Pentagon statement said the helicopter crash was an accident but provided no details. The two military personnel who were killed were not immediately identified so their families could be notified first.

The helicopter was in the air Friday night to provide rescue assistance, if needed, during a raid inside southern Afghanistan by about 100 special operations forces, including Army Rangers, said a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The helicopter did not enter Afghanistan airspace, the official said.

The deaths bring to three the number of people killed since the U.S. military campaign against the al-Qaida terror network and the ruling Taliban militia began.

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