Five British servicemen killed in a special forces helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan have been identified by the nation’s Ministry of Defence, according to a Sunday report in Britain’s newspaper, The Telegraph.
An investigation has begun into the crash of the Lynx helicopter which went down with the loss of all crew and passengers on a routine training mission near Kandahar Airfield.
Capt. Thomas Clarke, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner and Cpl. James Walters of the Army Air Corps died alongside Flight Lt. Rakesh Chauhan of the Royal Air Force and Lance Cpl. Oliver Thomas of the Intelligence Corps.
The MoD has denied claims by Taliban insurgents that they shot down the Lynx and said the incident was possibly from a technical problem, according to the report.
The Lynx is used to ferry troops such as the SAS and SBS on missions, and are also heavily armed for supporting fire.
The helicopter crashed Saturday in Kandahar’s Takhta Pul district, some 30 miles from the Pakistan border, the Telegraph reported. The incident came only seven months before the end of Britain’s combat mission in Afghanistan, and brought the UK’s armed forces death toll from the 13-year-campaign to 453.