By David Gura

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) says four American troops were killed when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson just filed this report from Kabul:

According to Afghan officials, the helicopter was providing cover during a joint operation with Afghan forces in Sangin, a district that is important to the region's robust opium trade, when it was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

"A spokesman for the United States military, Lt. Col. Joseph T. Breasseale, confirmed that all four victims on the helicopter were American soldiers, but he declined to identify them or give further details pending notification of next of kin," The New York Times reports.

It has been a deadly month for NATO troops in Afghanistan. The death toll has risen to 28, as Western and Afghan forces prepare for operations to clear the Taliban out of their southern strongholds.

categories: Afghanistan

9:25 - June 9, 2010