By Carlo Muñoz - 04/24/12 08:17 PM EDT
Reports: Army Blackhawk taken down by Taliban
The helicopter was conducting a night mission when it went down, killing all four U.S. soldiers aboard. Shortly after the crash, American military officials in Afghanistan could not confirm any casualties as a result of the crash.
DOD press secretary George Little confirmed the deaths of the American servicemen last Friday. DOD spokesman Capt. John Kirby said the accident was likely caused by weather conditions.
Defense officials said they were unaware of any enemy fire reported in the area where the crash took place, Kirby said.
But U.S. military investigators in Afghanistan claim the circumstances surrounding the crash show the helicopter was likely shot down by insurgent forces, sources told Stars and Stripes newspaper on Tuesday.
Lt. Col. David Connolly, a military spokesman for Regional Command-South, told the newspaper that an Aircraft Shoot Down Assessment Team has been sent to the crash site as part of the ongoing investigation.
However, Connolly noted those teams are usually sent to battlefield crash sites and the team investigating last Tuesday's accident was not a sign the helicopter was shot down.
DoD spokesman Capt. John Kirby could not comment on the report, except to say the investigation into the incident was still ongoing.
Any speculation over the cause of the crash would be premature until military investigators complete their inquiry, Kirby said on Tuesday.
Taliban forces in the area have claimed credit for the attack, using a rocket-propelled grenade to take down the helicopter, according to the report.
Last August, Taliban fighters shot down an Army Chinook helicopter in Wardak province in Eastern Afghanistan.
The helicopter carrying 38 U.S. soldiers, including members of SEAL Team Six, were responding to a group of Army Rangers pinned down by enemy fire.
All 38 American troops died in the accident, making it the single largest loss of life of the Afghan war.
--This story was updated at 5:34 p.m. to include comments from DoD spokesman Capt. John Kirby