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Helicopter with international peacekeepers crashes in Egypt’s Sinai, killing 8 – officials

Helicopter with international peacekeepers crashes in Egypt’s Sinai, killing 8 – officials
At least eight people were killed after a helicopter belonging to an international peacekeeping force crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, Israeli and Egyptian officials have confirmed.

Six Americans were among those killed in the crash, the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) said in a statement. The victims also included one French and one Czech member of the peacekeeping forces, all military service members.

Another American MFO member, who survived the crash, was evacuated to an Israeli hospital, the Israeli military said. The MFO statement added that a “mechanical failure” apparently caused the crash.

The US acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller also confirmed the deaths of the peacekeepers, and extended condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.

Speaking about the crash, an Egyptian official said the aircraft involved was a UH-60 Black Hawk on a reconnaissance mission, and the accident happened near the island of Tiran.

The international force has 1,154 military personnel from 13 states, with Americans making up the largest contingent with 452 people.

The MFO covers an area of more than 10,000 square kilometers (3,860 square miles) in the Sinai, where its peacekeepers monitor adherence to the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.

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