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Taliban claims responsibility for helicopter crash that killed 5 NATO troops

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Five NATO troops died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan this morning, making today the single deadliest day this year for foreign forces.

"Today, the mujahedeen hit the foreign forces' helicopter with a rocket, and 12 soldiers on board were killed," Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, wrote in a text message to journalists.

The Taliban often exaggerates death tolls and falsely claims attacks as their doing, but an Afghan official did confirm that the helicopter crash occurred in the southern province of Kandahar, about 30 miles from the Pakistani border. The Afghan official would not confirm the troops' nationalities, nor did he say what caused the crash, reports the Associated Press.

Today's attack comes as the NATO force is withdrawing troops from Afghanistan; the U.S.-led military coalition intends to return control of fighting the Taliban back to the Afghan army and police, with plans to fully withdraw from the country by the end of this year.