Six soldiers including three Australians were killed on Monday in a helicopter crash and two roadside bombings in southern Afghanistan, officials said.
Three Australians and a NATO soldier were killed in the helicopter crash in the southern province of Kandahar Monday, officials said.
Ten of the soldiers on board were Australians, and the crash in was an accident, Australia’s Defence Force said in a statement.
The surviving seven Australians were all injured. Two were “very seriously” hurt and one was in intensive care, it said.
The NATO—led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Australia contributes troops, said four soldiers were killed, without giving their nationalities or other details.
Cause of crash not known
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, it said.
“There are no indications of enemy involvement,” ISAF said.
Australia joined the 2001 US—led invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban regime. It has 1,550 troops in the southern province of Uruzgan.
Monday’s deaths came in the same month as two others for Australia, bringing the country’s death toll in Afghanistan to 16.
Elsewhere, two NATO soldiers were killed on Monday by roadside bombs in the same region, ISAF said. The military did not reveal the nationalities of the victims.
Monday’s deaths took the overall number of ISAF troops killed in the Afghan conflict to 280 so far this year. Sixty foreign soldiers were killed so far in June, the alliance’s deadliest month of 2010.
The US and NATO plan to increase the total number of troops to 150,000 by August, from more than 120,000 currently based in the country.