JERUSALEM (AP) - A helicopter belonging to an international peacekeeping force crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, killing at least seven people including several Americans, an Israeli and an Egyptian official said.
The Israeli official said that five Americans were among the dead in the crash in Sinai. The other victims were French and Czech. The official said Israel initially dispatched a helicopter to rescue the wounded, but called off the mission after the deaths were confirmed.
The Egyptian official said the UH-60 Black Hawk was on a reconnaissance mission and crashed near the island of Tiran, apparently because of a technical failure.
The helicopter belonged to the Multinational Force and Observers, an international force known as MFO that monitors the 40-year-old peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. Thirteen countries contribute troops to the mission, with the United States making up the largest contingent.
MFO officials said an investigation was underway but gave no further details.
Both the Israeli and the Egyptian official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media on the matter.
Magdy reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Noha ElHennawy in Cairo contributed to this report.