Helicopter accident kills 15 police officers in Colombia

Fifteen policemen were killed on Tuesday when a helicopter fell to the ground and burst into flames in a wooded region of northwestern Colombia, the National Police said.

Police said the US-made UH-60 Black Hawk apparently suffered a mechanical failure while taking part in a counter-narcotics operation in the department of Antioquia some 450 km northeast (280 miles) of the capital of Bogota.

"As a result of this incident, 15 policemen were killed and two others wounded," the police said in a statement.

The crash comes four days after 11 soldiers were killed when a Spanish-made CASA C-235 suffered motor failure and crashed in the northeast of the country.

The policemen killed on Tuesday were taking part in a crackdown on a criminal gang known as "Clan Usuga," made up of former right-wing paramilitaries.

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