The UH-60 is the U.S. Army designation for the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter. (File photo)

The UH-60 is the U.S. Army designation for the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter. (File photo)

A Sikorsky UH-60 “Black Hawk” crashed in southern Afghanistan Thursday morning, killing 11, including seven U.S. servicemen and four Afghans.

According to a NATO spokesman, the crash occurred in Kandahar province, a Taliban stronghold in the war-torn nation. The Taliban has claimed its insurgents shot down the U.S. Army helicopter.

NATO is investigating the cause of the crash and the spokesman neither confirmed nor denied the claim that the helicopter was shot down. An Afghan government spokesman told the AP that investigators are unsure if the helicopter had mechanical problems or was shot down.

According to the Associated press, the dead include the seven American soldiers, three Afghan security forces personnel and an Afghan civilian interpreter. The crash brings the number of American servicemen killed in Afghanistan to 221 this year.