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EXCLUSIVE: Up to 50 US helicopters in Afghanistan badly damaged in hail storm

EXCLUSIVE: As many as 50 U.S. and Coalition military helicopters were badly damaged in a hailstorm at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan this week.  The damage was severe enough that the helicopters are grounded until they can be repaired.

The storm moved through southern Afghanistan on April 23.

A military spokesman says "ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] has already implemented actions to mitigate the effects of the storm and our forces continue to receive all necessary support."

Fox News was told by one service member serving at a remote outpost in southern Afghanistan, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, that he was told "supplies and personnel movement are going to be restricted because of lack of deployable helicopters."  

This service member said he was told that around 50 helicopters were damaged and grounded as a result.  Several U.S. officials have confirmed that number, although ISAF would not comment on the exact number, citing concerns about operational security.

One military official said repairs are likely to happen quickly and that it is a "top priority" right now.