Chechen rebels 'down helicopter'

Eighteen dead as Russian helicopter shot down during clashes.

    A Russian news agency said the downed helicopter was one of three taking part in an operation [AP]

    "Reinforcements were called in and three defence ministry helicopters arrived. One helicopter, according to preliminary data, was shot down while landing," he said.


    However, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen president gave another version of the crash.


    "The cause of the catastrophe, according to information from the scene, was a technical failure," RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.


    The air force, in a statement, confirmed the aircraft had come down but said nothing about the cause or the number of casualties.


    "At 11:34 (07:34 GMT) while carrying out a mission to transport troops to the south of Shatoi there was an emergency situation which involved a Mi-8 helicopter coming down.


    The loss of life would be the largest for Russian forces in a single incident in many months in Chechnya, the site of two devastating wars since 1994 pitting federal forces against separatist fighters.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.