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Helicopter crash kills 9 in Afghanistan

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An Afghan military helicopter crashed in central Wardak province, killing all nine on board, officials said Thursday.

According to a statement from the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the crash of the Mi-17 helicopter landed in the Hesa-e Awal Behsud district, killing four crew members and five members of the security forces.

An investigation was underway, the statement said.

Local officials said the helicopter was en route to evacuate a wounded soldier from the disputed province at the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, four people were killed and nine others injured in the capital Kabul in an explosion that targeted a minibus, Kabul police said.

The vehicle was owned by the telecommunications ministry and was also carrying employees of other government departments, spokesman for Kabul police chief Ferdous Faramarz said.

The incident has not been claimed by any group to date.

The incidents unfolded as a high-level summit aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the long-running conflict in Afghanistan was due to take place in Moscow on Thursday.

An official delegation from Kabul and the Taliban militant group was also due to attend the conference in the Russian capital.

Peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government officials that began in Qatar in September have stalled in recent months, with no tangible progress. (dpa / NAN)

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