Pakistan rules out terror in chopper crash

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Amit Kumar
Date  09/05/2015

Senior Pakistani officials have ruled out the possibility of any terror plot in a recent deadly helicopter crash that killed a number of foreign envoys.

This came after the Taliban militants claimed that they shot down the military chopper in northern Pakistan on Friday. 

Reacting to a statement by the Taliban, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudry said that the claims by the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were `bogus`. 

Meanwhile, Asim Bajwa, a Pakistani army spokesman, has also rejected any possibility of terror attack, saying, “The helicopter crashed due to a technical fault.”

The accident happened as one of the choppers of a convoy of three helicopters carrying a delegation of foreign diplomats and their aides to Pakistan`s Gilgit-Baltistan territory went down on a school. 

Ambassadors of the Philippines and Norway were among those killed in the deadly helicopter crash. Wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors also lost lives in the fatal accident. Polish and Dutch ambassadors have also been among the wounded.

The terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the fatal crash, saying that they had targeted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"The helicopter was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, killing pilots and many foreign ambassadors," an Urdu-language statement emailed by the group`s main spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said on Friday.

He added, "A special group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had prepared a special plan to target Nawaz Sharif during his visit but he survived because he was traveling in another helicopter." 

The developments have raised new questions about the safety record of air travel across Pakistan following a series of aerial accidents in recent years.

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