Three killed in fatal helicopter crash in Somalia

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Three people have been killed and eight injured after a helicopter belonging to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) crashed in the Shabelle region of Somalia.

Speaking from Stuttgart Germany, Commander of US Africa Command, US Marine Corps General Michael Langley, expressed his, “sympathy for the families of the three brave Somali National Army members who perished in a helicopter crash earlier this week, losing their lives in noble service to their country.  I would like to also wish the eight injured members a speedy and full recovery.” He was speaking at a press briefing.

“This helicopter crash is a sober reminder of the very real costs that the fight against terrorist organizations — in this case, al-Shabaab — exacts from those who choose to be a part of the solution,” Langley said.

ATMIS said the helicopter was carrying Somali National Army officers on a joint training mission for casualty evacuation drills when it crashed on 25 February at Baledogle airstrip in the Lower Shabelle region. The airstrip is also used by US military forces.

ATMIS is assisting Somalia’s central government in its war against the Islamist al Shabab insurgency.

Pearl Matibe is a Washington, DC-based foreign correspondent, and media commentator with expertise on US foreign policy and international security. You may follow her on Twitter: @PearlMatibe