Eight peacekeepers, including six Americans, killed in Egypt helicopter crash


The others killed were a Czech and a French team member. The MFO described the flight as a routine mission. An investigation is underway into the cause of the crash.

In a statement, the MFO suggested there was no indication that the event was terrorism-related. “At this point, there is no information to indicate the crash was anything except an accident,” the force said.

The crash happened in the southern Sinai Peninsula near ­Tiran Island, according to an Israeli official. The MFO said it occurred near the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. The six Americans were National Guardsmen, the Israeli official said.

The American service member who survived was evacuated by the Egyptian military, the official said. The service member was transferred to an Israel Defense Forces aircraft near the Israeli city of Eilat and was taken to a ­hospital.

The Israeli air force had scrambled a Black Hawk helicopter with a search-and-rescue team to the site, but that mission turned back when it was learned there were no other survivors.

In 2015, the Islamic State affiliate based in northern Sinai asserted responsibility for downing a ­Russian passenger plane after it took off from Sharm el-Sheikh. All 224 people aboard were killed.

Thursday’s deaths came the day after Veterans Day, and the timing was not lost on top U.S. officials.

“Yesterday we recognized the sacrifice of millions of American veterans who have defended our nation for generations, and today we are tragically reminded of the last full measure our uniformed warriors may pay for their service,” acting secretary of defense Christopher Miller said in a statement. “I extend the Department’s condolences to the families, friends and teammates of these service members.”

Hendrix reported from Jerusalem. Karen DeYoung in Washington contributed to this report.


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