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U.S. Kills Taliban Responsible for Downed Copter

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- America's top commander in Afghanistan confirmed Wednesday that international forces had killed the Taliban insurgents responsible for downing a helicopter that left 38 soldiers dead, including 30 Americans, on Saturday.

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen said in a press conference that a F-16 airstrike on Monday killed a group of less than 10 people, including Taliban leader Mullah Mohibullah and the insurgent who launched a rocket-propelled grenade at the Chinook helicopter that crashed with 22 Navy SEAL personnel and eight other U.S. personnel.

The downed helicopter carried 38 U.S. and Afghan forces on Aug. 6 to assist Army Rangers who were in a firefight with escaping insurgents in the Wardak province of eastern Afghanistan. The aircraft crashed after it was hit, but officials have launched an investigation to see if additional small arms fire contributed to the encounter.

"We've run more than a couple of thousand of these night operations over the last year, and this is the only occasion where this has occurred," said Allen. "It's not uncommon at all to use this aircraft on our special missions."

The slain SEALs were part of the team that killed Osama bin-Laden in May, but officials said that none of those who participated in the raid were killed in Saturday's attack.

Pentagon officials said they continued to pursue the top insurgent leader who was the central target in Saturday's mission that led to the disastrous events.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.



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