F-16 Fighting Falcon News

USAF F-16 kills Talibans responsible for shot down helicopter

August 10, 2011 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An F-16 airstrike has killed the Taliban fighters believed responsible for shooting down a CH-47 helicopter, killing 38 people, NATO-led forces said. They ran but couldn't hide.

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Two USAF F-16C block 40s taxi at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan

General John Allen, US forces commander in Afghanistan, said those responsible for firing at the Chinook helicopter on Saturday had been targeted on Monday by an F-16.

After an exhaustive manhunt, Special Operations forces located Mullah Mohibullah and the shooter after receiving multiple intelligence leads and tips from local citizens. The two men were attempting to flee the country in order to avoid capture.

The NATO statement said that security forces "located and followed the insurgents to a wooded area in Chak district. After ensuring no civilians were in the area, the force called for the airstrike which resulted in the deaths of the Mullah Mohibullah, the gunman, and several of their Taliban associates."

"We dealt with them in a kinetic strike," General John Allen said, which basically means they blew up the place.

Many of those killed in the helicopter crash were members of Seal Team Six, the elite special forces unit whose members undertook the May raid into Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

The Chinook helicopter was sent to pursue insurgents fleeing a firefight with Army Rangers when in insurgents shot at it with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.