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Uganda People’s Defense Force helicopter crashes in DR Congo

Uganda People’s Defense Force helicopter crashes in DR Congo
Daily Mirror newspaper reports that more than a dozen soldiers were killed in crash

By Godfrey Olukya

KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) - A helicopter belonging to the Uganda People’s Defense Force crashed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a Ugandan army spokesman told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

“Our helicopter crashed in DR Congo. It killed the pilot and co-pilot. I do not have the details about the cause of the crash and whether there were other casualties,” said Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye.

The helicopter crashed Monday but was reported late Tuesday because of communication issues because it occurred in a forest.

The spokesman for joint Congolese-Ugandan military operations, Lieutenant-Colonel Mak Hazukay, confirmed the crash but could not provide details.

Ugandan newspaper The Daily Monitor, however, reported that more than a dozen Uganda People’s Defense Forces soldiers were killed in the crash.

It said that according to multiple sources, the Mi-17 helicopter, which is mainly used for transportation, medical evacuation and VIP travel, had just delivered a food consignment to troops engaged in Operation Shujaa when it tumbled and exploded during take-off.

The newspaper said the instructor pilot was identified as Ukrainian national Yury Vyshykvy, who died immediately. The Ugandan pilot, Capt. Patrick Arinaitwe, and five crew members sustained injuries.

On Sept. 24, a similar chopper crashed in Fort Portal in Kabarole district, but no casualties were reported.

source: News Feed
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