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Taiwan’s military chief, seven others die in helicopter crash

Taiwan’s government says its military chief was among eight people killed when a Black Hawk helicopter crashed in the country’s capital city.

Reuters reported Thursday that the cause of the crash, which left five others wounded, was initially unclear.

The deadly crash comes just days before Taiwan holds presidential and parliamentary elections.

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“We must find out the reason for the incident,” Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, told reporters, according to Reuters. “Most importantly, [we] must ensure the stability of our military and national defense.”

Kuomintang, the country’s leading opposition party, reportedly called for a full investigation into the incident.

“Kuomintang urges related authorities to probe the incident as soon as possible and make a thorough check on the same type of aircraft to prevent the tragedy from happening again,” the party said in a statement.

A similar crash involving another Black Hawk occurred last year off Taiwan’s coast, killing six people.

The U.S., which is Taiwan’s top international booster, supplies the island with Black Hawk helicopters and other arms.

Taiwan is not recognized by the United Nations or most other countries, as the People’s Republic of China maintains political claims over the island.

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