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The two Chinook helicopters forced into emergency landings Sunday in Afghanistan were hit by enemy fire, U.S. military officials said Monday. Six soldiers — five American and one Afghan — were injured in the incidents, which happened in separate locations in southern Afghanistan.

One of the helicopters, flying north of Kandahar, was forced to the ground in the location of where it took enemy fire. The five U.S. soldiers — all of whom have been treated and released — were injured in that crash.

The second Chinook, flying near Tarin Kowt, returned to a U.S. forward operating base and landed there, injuring the Afghan National Army soldier.

“Initial indications” are that enemy fire was involved, officials said. There was no word on what kind of weapons were used in the attacks, but a U.S. spokesman said both aircraft were involved in combat operations at the time of the incidents.

Investigators are looking into both incidents, which are at least the third and fourth times this year that enemy fire has brought down a U.S. helicopter. In late September, five soldiers were killed when a Chinook was shot down during a combat mission in southern Afghanistan.

On June 28, a Chinook ferrying special operations troops near Asadabad was shot down while trying to rescue a group of SEALs that had come under fire. All 17 military personnel on board died.

Several other helicopter incidents have been reported, though the causes have not been confirmed.

Separately, three U.S. soldiers were injured late Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded near their convoy. The soldiers were operating near Deh Chopan when the blast occurred, officials said.

The three soldiers were evacuated to Kandahar Airfield and are listed in stable condition.


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