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A NATO helicopter was shot down in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four troops, the alliance said.

The helicopter was brought down by hostile fire in volatile Helmand province, NATO said in a statement. It gave no other details.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility on behalf of the insurgents, saying militants shot down the helicopter with two rockets.

Helmand provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi said the attack occurred about midday in Sangin province.

Both U.S. and British troops are operating in Helmand, part of a band of provinces across southern Afghanistan that are the Taliban’s heartland.

United States troops have been building in the south as part of President Obama’s surge strategy to try to bring an end to the nearly 9-year-old insurgency.

Source: AP News

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