Afghan Helicopter Crash Kills 4 Tajik Contractors

Published February 12, 2012 11:00AM (EST)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A U.S. military contractor says one of its helicopters has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing all four Tajik crew members.

Supreme Group said in a statement that it is investigating Saturday's crash in Zabul province. The helicopter was carrying cargo used by Supreme for its contracts to supply food and water to U.S. forces when it went down in the mountains east of Kandahar.

Supreme says the helicopter was operated by a company called Central Asian Aviation Services.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Gunmen burst into a family home of a provincial judge in eastern Afghanistan, killing him and his niece in the latest assassination of an Afghan government official, authorities said Sunday.

Mohammad Nasir, the head of the appeals court for Kunar province, was visiting family in neighboring Nangarhar province Saturday night when gunmen stormed into his sister-in-law's house and opened fire, said Mohammad Asan, the administrator of Khogyani district in Nangarhar.

Nasir and his eight-year-old niece were both killed, Asan said.

Nasir's wife and another five children were wounded, said provincial health department adviser Sayed Hafandi. Two of the children are in serious condition at a hospital, he said.

Asan said they believe the gunmen went after Nasir because of his ties to the government. Taliban insurgents have assassinated hundreds of Afghan government officials and supporters in recent years, seeking to sap public confidence in President Hamid Karzai's administration.

The insurgent group has also said in public statements that it considers anyone working for the government or the international military a collaborator, not a civilian.

By Salon Staff

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