The peacekeeping organization said that an international peacekeeping force helicopter crashed in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula on Thursday, killing at least eight people, including six Americans. Israeli and Egyptian officials said the incident appeared to be an accident.
“We are deeply saddened to report that eight uniformed personnel of the MNF have been killed; six US citizens, one French and one Czech.” The Multinational Force and Observers He said in a statement. “A member of the US multinational force survived and was medically evacuated. Names withheld, pending notification of his next of kin.”
Israeli and Egyptian officials said that the only survivor was being airlifted to an Israeli hospital. An Egyptian official said the UH-60 Black Hawk was on a reconnaissance mission and crashed near Tiran Island.
The peacekeeping force transported the survivor to the tourist city of Eilat, Israel, then an Israeli helicopter took him to a hospital in the north.
Both sides said the accident appeared to have been caused by a technical malfunction and there were no signs that the plane had been attacked. The extremist Islamic groups affiliated with ISIS are known to be operating in Sinai.
The Multinational Force and Observers is an international force that monitors the 40-year-old peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.
BBC News reports The organization currently consists of 1,154 military personnel from 13 countries. The biggest teams come from the United States, Colombia, Fiji and France. There are 452 Americans, some of whom hold key leadership positions.
His responsibilities include monitoring troop levels along the border and ensuring freedom of navigation through the Strait of Tiran.
The Israeli and Egyptian official spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media in this regard. There was no immediate comment from UNIFIL officials pending the outcome of the investigation.