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For many Afghans, US helicopter crash confirms Taliban momentum

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Saturday's deadly crash of a US military helicopter, and many Afghans say they doubt NATO's ability to turn back what appears to be fresh momentum for the Taliban.

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Taliban insurgents shot down a helicopter carrying Navy SEALs similar to the helicopter shown in this 2006 file photo from Afghanistan.

Rodrigo Abd/AP

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The day after a helicopter crash resulted in the largest loss of American soldiers in a single day during a decade of war in Afghanistan, many locals say they fear it is a sign that the war will likely to drag on for a long time to come.

For most Afghans, the incident has done little to change their outlook on the future of the war. It has, however, confirmed their suspicions that NATO-led forces have yet to reverse the Taliban’s momentum.

“It is another big sign that indicates continuous fighting in Afghanistan," says Mirajudin Ahmadzai, a tribal elder in Nangarhar province. "That the Taliban can now shoot down a helicopter shows that they are getting more capable.”

MONITOR QUIZ: Weekly News Quiz for July 30-August 4, 2011

US military officials say they are still investigating the incident, but it appears that the Taliban may have shot down the Chinook helicopter on Saturday east of Kabul in Wardak province.

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