Civilian Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan

A civilian helicopter crashed Tuesday morning in Helmand Province, where United States Marines, NATO troops and Afghan Army forces have been mounting an offensive against Taliban insurgents, The New York Times reports.

Officials told Al Jazeera that "possibly more than two" passengers were killed in the crash in Sangin district on Tuesday.

The number of casualties could not be independently confirmed.

Fazlul Haq, the district chief of Sangin, said he saw the helicopter before it crashed.

"It was in the sky on fire and then went down," he told a Reuters news agency reporter, reports.

It was not immediately clear why the helicopter came down in the Sangin district of Helmand province, where US Marines, British and Afghan forces are pressing assaults against Taliban strongholds in the run-up to key elections, Channel News Asia reports.

A helicopter accident in southern Afghanistan's Zabul province last week killed one British and two Canadian troops.

Meanwhile, Nato says two of its soldiers were killed in fighting in the south on Monday. International forces have sustained heavy casualties in recent weeks, BBC News reports.