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Afghan Army Helicopter Crash Kills 25


Afghan National Army helicopter (illustrative photo)

An Afghan National Army helicopter carrying senior officials has crashed in bad weather in the western province of Farah, killing all 25 on board, a local official says.

Naser Mehdi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the mountainous Anar Dara district in the morning of October 31 heading toward the nearby province of Herat.

He said the helicopter crashed in bad weather. A Taliban spokesman said the militants shot it down.

Mehdi said the passengers included the deputy corps commander of Afghanistan's western zone and the head of the Farah provincial council.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber struck outside Afghanistan's largest prison on the eastern edge of Kabul, killing at least seven people, including prison workers and security personnel, officials said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said that the attacker targeted a bus carrying prison workers early on October 31. The sprawling Pul-e Charkhi prison houses hundreds of inmates, including scores of Taliban militants.

According to Abadullah Karimi, a prison official, the attack occurred near the prison gate where a number of visitors were waiting to pass a rigorous security check before entering.

At least seven people were killed, and another five were wounded in the blast, the officials said.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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