Washington: The Pentagon has confirmed that six US service members were killed in a helicopter crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
“We are saddened by the loss of six US and two partner nation service members in a helicopter crash in the Sinai Peninsula operating with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO),” Xinhua news agency quoted Acting Secretary of Defence Christopher Miller as saying in a statement issued Thursday.
“I extend the Department’s condolences to the families, friends and team-mates of these service members,” he added.
Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman tweeted earlier in the day that the Pentagon is in close contact with MFO leadership and is prepared to support the investigation.
In a statement, the MFO had also confirmed that eight members of the multinational peacekeeping force in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula were killed in a helicopter crash, which took place during a routine mission in the vicinity of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“We are deeply saddened to report that eight uniformed MFO members were killed — six US citizens, one French, and one Czech. One US MFO member survived and was medically evacuated,” the statement said.
“There is no information to indicate the crash was anything except an accident,” said the peacekeeping body, adding that it will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.
It also expressed appreciation of the cooperation and support of Egypt and Israel.
The MFO is a Rome-based international peacekeeping organization established via an agreement between Egypt and Israel.