Pentagon names 30 killed in attack
NEW YORK - The Pentagon released the names yesterday of the 30 US military personnel, including 22 members of the Navy SEALs, killed last week when the Taliban shot down a Chinook transport helicopter in eastern Afghanistan, the largest loss of life in a single day during the decade-long war.
All 38 people aboard the helicopter died after it crashed Saturday in the Tangi Valley in Wardak Province, a mountainous area west of Kabul.
In addition to the Navy SEALs, the dead included three Air Force Special Operations members; an Army helicopter crew of five; seven Afghan commandos; and an Afghan interpreter. A military dog also died.
The SEAL team, which included members of the elite counterterrorism unit that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May, had been called in to support Army Rangers who were trying to capture or kill a Taliban leader and others believed responsible for planting roadside bombs.
The Chinook is believed to have been shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade, the military said.
The Pentagon said that within days of the downing of the helicopter, US F-16 fighter jets attacked a residential compound in the same area, killing a group of insurgents thought to be have shot down the helicopter.
The military decided to release the names of the troops despite a request by the Special Operations Command to keep them secret, arguing that it was a security risk. But during the past several days, family members have confirmed the identities of several of the men.