An army helicopter carrying supplies to troops crashed in a rural area in northern Colombia on Monday, killing nine soldiers on board, the country’s armed forces said.

In a statement, the Colombian military said the helicopter was taking the supplies to the municipality of Santa Rosa del Sur, an area that has recently experienced fighting between the National Liberation Army guerrilla group and the drug trafficking group known as the Gulf Clan.

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The military statement described the helicopter crash as an accident.

Colombian flag

Nine members of Colombia’s military lost their lives when their helicopter crashed in a rural area of northern Colombia. (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

“I regret the death of the nine passengers on board the army’s helicopter” Colombian president Gustavo Petro wrote on X on Monday. “It was supplying troops…that were conducting operations against the Gulf Clan.”

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The military said the helicopter crashed around 1:50 pm local time. It was an MI-17 Russian-built chopper that is often used to carry troops and supplies.

Two officers were among the victims of the crash, which also included two sergeants and three privates. None of the passengers on the helicopter survived.

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