Nine troops killed in Afghan crash

Violence at its worst

Violence is at its worst across Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted by US-backed Afghan forces in 2001, with military and civilian casualties at record levels.

The crash came soon after one of the deadliest days of the year on Saturday, when the Taliban launched scores of attacks across the country in a bid to disrupt a parliamentary election that has been tarnished by a growing number of fraud complaints.

The country’s election watchdog has received almost 3,000 formal complaints about the weekend poll and is mulling extending a Tuesday deadline for submitting grievances because voters and candidates are believed to have thousands more to lodge.

The poll, a test of credibility for the Afghan government, was being closely watched in Washington ahead of US President Barack Obama’s planned war strategy review in December, which will likely examine the pace and scale of US troop withdrawals.

The crash happened in the volatile southeast, the heartland of the Taliban. The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) declined to give more details about the crash site or the nationalities of the dead. Mohammad Jan Rasulyar, a spokesman for the governor of southeastern Zabul province, said the aircraft came down there. US troops form the largest contingents in the area.

One ISAF service member, an Afghan soldier and a US civilian were injured.

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