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Helicopter crash in Egypt's Sinai kills at least seven foreign peacekeepers

An Israeli source said the crash of the MFO helicopter, in which five Americans died, appears to have been an accident
An Egyptian official said the UH-60 Black Hawk was on a reconnaissance mission and crashed near the island of Tiran (AFP)

A helicopter crash in Egypt involving US-led Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) killed at least seven of its members on Thursday, the MFO said.

The observer force said in a statement that those killed were military service members and included five Americans, one Czech and a French national.

The statement said that Thursday's mission was "routine", but did not add further details.

MFO, which has headquarters in Rome, is an international force that monitors the 40-year-old peace agreement between Israel and Egypt.

An Israeli source said there is no indication that the helicopter had come under attack and the incident appears to have been an accident.

Brad Lynch, an MFO official, said they were "actively investigating an incident involving one of our helicopters today".

An Egyptian official, meanwhile, told Stars and Stripes magazine that the helicopter, a UH-60 Black Hawk, was on a reconnaissance mission and crashed near the island of Tiran, in an apparent technical failure. 

The MFO was set up in 1979 under agreement by Israel and Egypt to supervise parts of the historic peace treaty agreed between the two countries that year.