A Cobra helicopter gunship of the Pakistani army crashed while targeting militant hideouts in the restive Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing its two-member crew.
The helicopter crashed in Tirah valley of Khyber due to a technical problem, officials were quoted as saying by the TV news channels. The pilot and the gunner were both killed, they said. Troops surrounded the area and retrieved the bodies of the two crew members.
The bodies were later airlifted to Peshawar by a helicopter. Clashes were also going on between security forces and militants in Bara area of Tirah valley. Following the crash, two more helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts and killed several rebels.
TV news channels said there were reports that the helicopter gunship had crashed after being fired at by militants. There was no official word on this development.
The Pakistan army has made extensive use of helicopter gunship and fighter jets in its campaign against militant groups in the lawless tribal belt.