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82nd Airborne soldiers die in crash


RALEIGH (AP) -- Officials say five soldiers who died this week when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crashed in Afghanistan were members of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.

The names of the soldiers from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade have not been released.

Major Tom Earnhardt says investigators don't know why the helicopter crashed. The Taliban claimed responsibility. A spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force has said initial indications suggested enemy fire may have brought down the Chinook.

A US military official who insisted on speaking anonymously because the crash is under investigation has said reports suggested the helicopter was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade.

But a spokesman at Bagram Air Base has said enemy fire was only one possibility.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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