Seven soldiers including five Americans were killed Wednesday night when a Chinook helicopter apparently was shot down in southern Afghanistan, officials say.

Apart from the Americans, a Canadian and a British soldier died in the 9 p.m. crash. Everyone aboard perished, officials say.

Troops summoned to the crash site in the volatile Helmand province were ambushed and called for an airstrike, according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.

NATO officials said an Afghan civilian was injured by small-arms fire after the crash and received medical attention.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, an alleged Taliban spokesman, told The Associated Press that militants shot down the helicopter.

Initial reports suggested that the helicopter was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade, the AP quoted a U.S. official as saying.

The helicopter went down in the province’s Kajaki district, where mostly British troops have fought to protect a hydroelectric dam that is under repair.

About 37,000 NATO forces are taking the lead in fighting in Afghanistan. U.S. forces in Afghanistan number about 27,000, including most recently the Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Helicopter crashes have been relatively rare in Afghanistan. A CH-47 Chinook crashed on Feb. 18, killing eight U.S. servicemembers near Highway 1, the main road between Kabul and Kandahar. Officials said enemy fire did not cause that crash.

About a year ago, a CH-47 Chinook crashed attempting a nighttime landing in Asadabad in eastern Afghanistan, killing 10 U.S. servicemembers. Investigators said the helicopter struck a tree and crashed into a cliff.

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