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Diplomats Among 7 Killed In Pakistan Helicopter Crash

The Pakistani military said the ambassadors from the Philippines and Norway are among the dead.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Seven people have been killed, including two diplomats, in a helicopter crash in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Balistan, Pakistan, the country's military said Friday.

Anjum Naveed / AP

A file image shows a Pakistani solider in a helicopter in Islamabad, Jan. 15.

The Pakistani army confirmed that the ambassadors from the Philippines and Norway are among the dead.

Norwegian and Philpines ambassadors to Pakistan among the fatalities in a helicopter crash in northern Pakistan, according to Pak Military

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs released a statement Friday saying the country is, "deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan Hon. Domingo D. Lucenario, Jr."

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its grief at the loss of their ambassador. "It is with great sorrow that we received the news today that Ambassador Leif Holger Larsen has died in Pakistan. Our thoughts are with his close family and friends," the ministry said in a statement.

The wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors have also been killed.

Update Naltar:2 pilots,4 foreigners fatalities.(Ambs Philippine, Norway,wives of Malaysian& Indonesian Ambs).Injured-Polish&Dutch Ambs-5

In addition to the four foreigners killed, two pilots and a crew member also died.

Update Naltar:7 Fatalities.Foreigners-4(Ambs Norway,Philipine,wife of Amb Indonesia,Malaysia).Pakistani-3; two pilots,one crew member-6

In a statement, military spokesperson Major-General Asim Bajwa said that the MI-17 helicopter was carrying 17 people, including 11 foreigners, Al Jazeera reported.

The 10 survivors, including the Dutch and Polish ambassadors, have "varying degrees of injuries," Bajwa said.

The diplomats were headed to a northern village where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was going "to inaugurate the newly installed chair-lift at a ski resort," according to the Associated Press.

Bajwa said that the helicopter suffered a technical failure that led to the crash.

Update Naltar:Accident cause-As per initial info,2 heli landed safely while 3rd developed tech fault while landing-7

There was an earlier claim by a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman that his group was behind the crash, CNN reported. Pakistani military officials however, say that the crash was due to a technical failure.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

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Jessica Simeone is a deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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