A US special forces team on a counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan have come under fire in Helmand province, sustaining casualties.
A helicopter sent in to rescue the team, also came under attack and was immobilized, according to US officials.
The BBC reports:
Some 12,000 foreign soldiers are still deployed in Afghanistan to help local forces and some were deployed recently to tackle Taliban fighters in Helmand.
‘Not shot down’
Details of what happened in the incident, which took place near the town of Marjah on Tuesday, remain sketchy.
US military spokesman Brig Gen Wilson Shoffner said one service member had died as a result of wounds, adding: “We are deeply saddened by this loss… our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those involved.”
The identity of the casualties has not yet been revealed and no official details given on their service branch.
A number of Afghan forces were also reported to have been wounded.
The casualties occurred before the “medevac” helicopter was called in.
Some reports said the helicopter, believed to be a UH-60 Black Hawk, had also come under fire.
A US defence official said it had “sustained damage while on the ground” but had not been shot down.
He said it remained on the ground and the military was working to recover it, but gave no further details.
Helmand has long been a stronghold of the Taliban.
Afghan forces, aided by the US military, have been engaged in a fierce conflict recently with Taliban fighters who seized large swathes of Sangin district in the south of the province.
The fighting also sparked the deployment of a number of UK forces to Helmand for the first time in more than a year.
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