Created: 27.04.2007 14:29 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 14:33 MSK, 1 hour 52 minutes ago
A military helicopter went down in Russia’s volatile province of Chechnya killing all 17 people on board, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported quoting a source in the military.
According to the Reuters news agency, an air force spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the Mi-8 transport helicopter had gone down but gave no further details.
Alexander Drobyshevsky, an aide to Russia’s air force commander, was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying it crashed at 11:34 a.m. (0734 GMT) near the village of Shatoi in southern Chechnya.
A special investigative commission was working at the scene, he said. “Commission members will establish whether the helicopter was shot down or if the crash was caused by a technical glitch,” he said.
RIA-Novosti reported that the helicopter was downed by separatist rebels and that 14 soldiers and 3 crewmembers who were on board were killed. The agency said that the helicopter carried the servicemen of the “South” batallion of the Russian Army, manned by pro-Moscow Chechens.