İrem UZUN -TDO- A helicopter belonging to a U.S.-led international peacekeeping force crashed in Egypt's Sinai region on Thursday, killing seven people, including five Americans, officials said. "There has been a helicopter crash and I have the information that there were seven killed, five of them are American, one is French, and one is Czech," an Israeli source was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.
The Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) said the helicopter crashed during a routine mission near Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Egyptian resort city on the Red Sea, and that an investigation was underway. It did not give a precise location of the crash or say whether the helicopter fell on land or crashed into the sea. Armed groups affiliated with the ISIS are known to be active in the peninsula. But the MFO said there were no signs of an attack. “At this point, there is no information to indicate the crash was anything except an accident,” it said.
The Czech Defense Ministry released a statement confirming a Czech army member was among those killed in the helicopter crash. The statement said the cause of the crash was a technical fault. Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Christopher Miller confirmed that six Americans had been killed and said on Twitter that he was saddened by the deaths. Israel's Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing its “deepest sorrow,” and saying the MFO is “highly regarded for its work.” “I send my sincere condolences to the families of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to all of the wounded," said Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.