Pentagon: Crash tragic, but not a trend -

Pentagon: Crash tragic, but not a trend

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon says the helicopter shoot down that killed 30 U.S. troops and eight Afghans was a tragic loss but does not signal a rise in Taliban strength.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said Monday that the Taliban's downing of the Chinook with a rocket-propelled-grenade on Saturday should be seen as a single combat incident and not a watershed moment in an escalating war.

The crash in eastern Afghanistan that killed 22 elite SEAL personnel, Air Force troops and an Army air crew underscores the risks as the U.S. begins to turn over portions of the country to Afghan forces, while concentrating more on ferreting out insurgents operating along the border.

Military officials said the troops in the crash were on a mission to assist forces pursuing a Taliban leader.

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