Nightly News | September 21, 2010
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: This has been an awful day for Americans in Afghanistan . Nine US service members killed this morning when their chopper went down in southern Afghanistan , the deadliest chopper crash in more than four years for any of the NATO forces. Question now, of course, were they shot down by the Taliban ? Our own John Yang is stationed in Kabul . He's with us from there tonight. John , good evening.
JOHN YANG reporting: Good evening, Brian . Military officials say this appears to be an accident, not a shoot-down, but still, as you say, the worst helicopter crash since May 2006 . Today's nine deaths bring the US death toll to at least 351 for this year. Still more than three months to go in 2010 , but already it's the deadliest year for both US and coalition forces. The helicopter that crashed today was a Black Hawk ; the crash is under investigation. But officials say there is no indication of any hostile fire, that despite a Taliban claim that they shot the helicopter down.
YANG: Meanwhile, another threat to the stability of the government of Hamid Karzai here in Afghanistan . Mounting claims of fraud in this past weekend's parliamentary elections almost on the scale of last year's tainted presidential election. So growing challenges here both on the security front
and on the political front. Brian: Thank you for all of it. John Yang in Kabul , Afghanistan , for us tonight.