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Peacekeepers die in Bosnia chopper crash

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18:33 CEST+02:00
Two German and two Spanish members of the EU peacekeeping force in Bosnia died when their helicopter crashed in the central part of the country, the Spanish Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

"The two Spanish pilots and the two German officers on board the helicopter have died as a result of the accident," the ministry said in a statement. The Spanish BO-105 helicopter "was transporting personnel" when it crashed in the Banja Luka region "for reasons that are not yet known," it said.

The EUFOR helicopter went down in a mountainous, heavily forested area near the town of Travnik at around noon (1000 GMT), shortly after the crew made a Mayday call, it said in a statement.

The helicopter had taken off on a routine flight around half an hour earlier from Camp Butmir in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

EUFOR, which took over from a NATO peacekeeping mission in 2004, is charged with military tasks set out in the peace deal that ended Bosnia's 1992-1995 war. It currently has around 2,200 troops in the country.

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