9 killed in Uzbekistan chopper crash: Report

AFP , Wednesday 19 Oct 2016

Nine people including six soldiers were killed when a military helicopter crashed in eastern Uzbekistan, state media said on Wednesday.

The crash involving a defence ministry Mi-171 chopper took place on Tuesday in ex-Soviet Uzbekistan's Fergana region, the state-owned Uzreport website reported citing the defence ministry.

"As a result of the accident 3 crew members and 6 members of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan on board were killed," the website said.

The report added that a special state commission had been set up by the defence ministry to investigate the crash.

Authoritarian Uzbekistan is in the middle of a political transition following the death of long-reigning autocrat Islam Karimov, who was buried last month aged 78 after a reported stroke.

Acting President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who served as prime minister under Karimov for 13 years, is widely tipped to win a December 4 presidential election.

The country of over 30 million shares a border with Afghanistan and hosted a US military based used in Washington's operations there before a fallout over human rights saw US personnel evicted.

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