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Militants responsible for US chopper crash killed

The Taliban militants who shot down a US helicopter, killing 38 American and Afghan soldiers, have been tracked down and killed in a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan, a top US commander said on Wednesday.

world Updated: Aug 10, 2011 21:03 IST

The Taliban militants who shot down a US helicopter, killing 38 American and Afghan soldiers, have been tracked down and killed in a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan, a top US commander said on Wednesday.

The Taliban had brough down the US Chinook helicopter on Friday last week, in a major strike that left 30 US soldiers, including 22 Navy SEALs dead, besides Afghan soldiers.

The militants were killed in an F16 strike on Monday.

"At approximately midnight on 8 August, coalition forces killed the Taliban insurgents responsible for this attack against the helicopter, which we assess was an RPG round," General John Allen, the new chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon.

Among the dead in the strike was Taliban leader, Mullah Mohibullah, a key facilitator in an insurgent attack cell.

In a statement soon thereafter the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) identified the Taliban leader as Mohibullah.

However, Allen said the Taliban leader, who was the original target of the US operations was still at large and is being searched.

"Mullah Mohibullah was a key facilitator in an insurgent attack cell led by Din Mohammad, a Taliban leader killed in a previous Special Operations mission.

"As a leader in Mohammad's network in Tangi valley, Mohibullah had as many as 12 Taliban fighters under his command, including potential suicide bombers," an ISAF statement said.