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5 NATO troops killed in helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan

  • Afghanistan-303

    Foreign security guards stand near the main gate of Cure International Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 24, 2014. The U.S. embassy in Afghanistan says three American doctors have been killed at by an Afghan security guard who opened fire at a hospital in Kabul. The shooting at Cure International Hospital in western Kabul was the latest attack on foreign civilians in the Afghan capital this year. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)


  • Afghanistan-Victims

    This undated photo provided by the Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago, shows Dr. Jerry Umanos, one of three physicians killed when an Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of foreign doctors at a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan on Thursday morning, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Lawndale Christian Health Center, Bernardo Barrios)


KABUL, Afghanistan — Five NATO troops died in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan today, the U.S.-led military coalition said.

The coalition said in a statement it was investigating the circumstances of the crash but gave no other information. The nationalities of those killed were not released, citing its policy that home countries should identify their casualties.

The deaths bring to seven the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this month. The NATO force is preparing to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan at the end of this year, and it has already turned over the job of fighting the Taliban insurgency to the Afghan army and police.

Violence has increased in Afghanistan ahead of the NATO withdrawal and also in the weeks leading up to the country’s April 5 election. Preliminary results of the vote are due later today.

Also today, an Afghan university official identified the two Americans killed in a shooting at a Kabul hospital earlier this week.

The vice chancellor of Kabul University, Mohammad Hadi Hadayati, named the two as health clinic administrator Jon Gabel and his visiting father, Gary.

Hadayati said that Jon Gabel’s wife was wounded in the attack Thursday saw that an Afghan police security guard open fire as the family entered the grounds of Cure International Hospital.

The Gabel family was visiting pediatrician Dr. Jerry Umanos of Chicago, who was also killed in the shooting.

Hadayati said Jon Gabel ran a clinic at the university providing low-cost medicine and also volunteered to teach computer classes.

He said Gabel worked with U.S. charity Morning Star Development.

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