| Updated at: 1143 PST, Thursday, October 07, 2010|
DUSHANBE: Thirty-four Tajik troops have been killed in two separate incidents during a military operation against Islamic insurgents in the east of the Central Asian state, military sources said Thursday.
Twenty-eight troops were killed Wednesday when a military helicopter crashed in a possible militant strike, the sources told media, although public statements insisted only four were killed in an accident.
"Not a single passenger survived the crash of the Mi-8 military helicopter on Wednesday morning," said a military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, raising an earlier toll of 25.
A high-ranking Tajik military source, speaking on condition of strict anonymity, said that it was possible that the helicopter had been shot down by a missile fired by Islamists from their mountain hideouts.
Another six troops were killed in a separate incident caused by the accidental explosion of a mine late Wednesday, according to a military source.
"The faulty placement of a mine led to an explosion that killed six Tajik national guards," the source told media, adding that more than 10 officers were wounded in the incident.