KABUL: A helicopter which crashed killing 30 US troops in Afghanistan was shot down after the Taliban laid a trap to lure US forces into the area, an Afghan government official said Monday.
"Now it's confirmed that the helicopter was shot down and it was a trap that was set by a Taliban commander," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said the commander lured US forces to the scene by telling them there was a Taliban meeting taking place there.
The official said that President Hamid Karzai's US-backed government "thinks this was a retaliation attack for the killing of Osama Bin Laden."
The Taliban did not make such an assertion when they claimed responsibility for the attack.
Citing intelligence "gathered from the area," the official blamed Qari Tahir, a Taliban commander, for masterminding the attack. He alleged that four Pakistani nationals helped Tahir carry out the strike.
He said the intelligence also showed that the Chinook helicopter was brought down by multiple shots including "modern weapons" without giving further details.
The helicopter was attacked from either side of a valley, the only route to the Taliban-dominated Sayd Abad district in Wardak province where the attack happened late Friday, the official said.
"The Taliban knew which route the helicopter would take," he added.
"That's the only route, so they took position on the either side of the valley on mountains and as the helicopter approached, they attacked it with rockets and other modern weapons. It was brought down by multiple shots," he said.
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