27 April 2007, 23:32

A helicopter with troopers crashed down in Chechnya

A model Mi-8 helicopter of Ministry of Defence that was transporting rangers fell down in Chechnya. The accident took place today at 11:34 a.m. to the south of Shatoi village, the "Interfax" transmits the message of the Ministry of Defence.

According to the "Caucasian Knot," today, three Mi-8 helicopters with soldiers were sent to block a grouping in the Shatoi District of Chechnya, which may be headed by the leader of Chechen separatists Doku Umarov. According to preliminary data, one of the helicopters was shot down at approaching the battle place. Eighteen persons have perished - three members of the crew and 15 special fighters of the Chief Intelligence Service of the Joint Staff. Now, the fight continues, a source in the United Group of Troops has reported. The ITAR-TASS reports that the members of the "Yug" (South) battalion and commandoes take part in the operation. "According to preliminary data, three militants were killed," the source of the Agency has added.

At the same time, the Office of Public Prosecutor of Chechnya has no data that the helicopter was shot down. The President of Chechnya asserts that the craft crashed down because of a technical malfunction.

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