Eight members of an international mission have been killed and another critically injured in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
The crew and passengers were part of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), a peacekeeping mission established under a peace agreement between Egypt and Israel in August 1981.
A technical fault is believed to have caused the fatal crash. Six American nationals, one French and one Czech national were killed in the crash.
According to a Czech defense ministry statement, the Black Hawk was on a regular supply flight at the time of the crash.
Egyptian officials said the helicopter crashed near the island of Tiran.
“The Defense Department is deeply saddened by the loss of six US and two partner nation service members in a helicopter crash in the Sinai Peninsula operating with the United Nations Multinational Force and Observers,” Acting US Secretary of Defense Chris Miller commented.
MFO is tasked with supervising the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace and prevent any violation of its terms. Some 450 US troops are part of the mission.