U.S. Chopper Down in Afghanistan

A U.S. CH-47 Chinook (search) military transport helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday, FOX News has learned. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The chopper went down west of Asadabad (search), the capital of Kunar (search) province, while bringing reinforcements into an area where U.S. forces have been fighting Taliban rebels.

Provincial Gov. Asadullah Wafa told The Associated Press that the Taliban downed the aircraft with a rocket. He gave no other details.

Airplanes and other helicopters were dispatched to the crash site, the U.S. military said.

A U.S. military official said 16 personnel were aboard, including three crew members.

FOX News learned that the helicopter went down in a mountainous area, with wreckage and debris apparently rolling downhill from the impact site.

It was not immediately known if there had been any casualties, but a request from the Quick Reaction Force, which conducts rescues and recoveries, included a request for extrication from wreckage, which suggested there were survivors.

An Army spokesman also suggested that some casualties may have resulted on the ground from the moving wreckage.

The United States recently launched an offensive against a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan's Khakeran Valley (search), seeking to reassert control after a spate of attacks raised fears the war was worsening.

It was not immediately clear whether the helicopter that crashed was involved in that mission.

There has been a string of helicopter crashes in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in late 2001.

The most recent was April 6, when 15 U.S. service members and three American civilians were killed in the crash of their CH-47 Chinook near the city of Ghazni, 80 miles southwest of Kabul, during a sandstorm.

FOX News' Bret Baier, Nick Simeone and Paul Wagenseil and The Associated Press contributed to this report.