6 Americans Among 8 Peacekeepers Killed in Helicopter Crash in Egypt

DeAgostini/Getty Sinai desert in Egypt

Six American peacekeepers were killed alongside two others in a helicopter crash in Egypt, officials said.

Nine members of the international peacekeeping force Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) were involved in the crash, which occurred during a routine mission near Sharm el-Sheikh, MFO said in a statement.

“We are deeply saddened to report that eight uniformed MFO members were killed,” the statement read.

Six victims were U.S. citizens, while one was French and another was Czech. The ninth person survived the crash, and was medically evaluated, according to the statement.

The MFO said it will conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident, but at this point, there is no information to indicate it was “anything except an accident.”

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An Egyptian official told Agence France-Presse that the aircraft was a UH-60 Black Hawk on a reconnaissance mission, and that it crashed near the island of Tiran off the Sinai Peninsula, the New York Post reported.

Based in Rome, the MFO is an international peacekeeping organization that seeks to monitor the borders between Egypt and Israel per a 1979 peace accord between the two countries, according to its website.

The organization consists of 1,154 military personnel from 13 different countries, and the U.S. has the largest contingent, with nearly 450 members.