Foreign Envoys Die in Helicopter Crash in Pakistan

World | May 8, 2015, Friday // 15:45|  views

A file picture dated 23 June 2013 of a Pakistani Army helicopter carrying the wooden coffins of the shot foreign tourists, lands at Gilgit Airport in Gilgit, Pakistan. Photo: EPA

Seven people were killed after an army helicopter crashed in a mountainous region in the Gilgit-Baltistan territory in northern Pakistan on Friday.

The causes of the crash remain unknown, as some sources say that the helicopter crashed during an emergency landing, while others claim it was taken down by Talibans.

Among the dead are the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines to Pakistan, the wives of the Indonesian and Malaysian ambassadors, two Pakistani pilots and a crew member.

Five other people were injured, including the Polish and Dutch ambassadors to the country, the BBC reports.

A total of eleven foreigners and six Pakistani were on board the helicopter, headed for the inauguration of a ski chairlift, which had been built in the resort of Naltar.

According to some sources, the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack, but so far there has been no confirmation for the claim and the area is not a stronghold of the Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman stated that the helicopter was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, but a military speaker dismissed the claim, saying that the cause of the crash was technical fault.

It had initially been foreseen for Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif to attend the opening ceremony, but his aircraft reversed its route after the incident.

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Tags: incident, Nawaz Sharif, attack, Ambassadors, Taliban, crash, helicopter, Pakistan, TTP


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