12 killed in Indonesian army helicopter crash in Sulawesi

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Jakarta, March 21 (IANS) An Indonesian army helicopter went down in Poso of Sulawesi province on Sunday, killing 12 military men and leaving one missing, Indonesian Armed Forces Spokesman Colonel Berlin G said.

“Twelve have been found, all of them dead. Another is still missing,” Xinhua quoted a spokesman as saying.

The Bell 412 EP chopper crashed at 17:55 p.m. local time in Kasiguncu village of Poso when it was conducting its routine task, Colonel I Made Sutia, spokesman of the military command in the province said.

He blamed the poor weather condition for the accident.

Poso is where Indonesia’s military have been conducting operations to hunt for the country’s most wanted high profile terrorist figure Santoso and his followers who are the backers of the Islamic State terrorist group in Indonesia and have carried out or are linked to several deadly strikes in the country.

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Colonel Made said most of the crash victims were high-ranking military officers and one of them was military commander of the province, Colonel Infantry Saiful Anwar.

All of the victims have been rushed to the Poso General Hospital, he added.

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