As more details become available on yesterday's helicopter crash in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan that killed 30 Americans and 8 Afghans, authorities have determined that the aircraft was shot down by insurgents aligned with the Taliban, most-likely with a rocket-propelled grenade. The Times points out, "they could have hardly found a more valuable target," as 22 of the dead were members of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6, the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden in May. However, authorities say that none of the SEALs who were on the bin Laden raid were killed in yesterday's incident, which was the deadliest in the decade-long war in Afghanistan.

The deaths occurred around 1 a.m., shortly after NATO forces engaged a Taliban compound in the area for two hours. A spokesman for the Taliban said that 8 insurgents were killed in the fighting, which has intensified in the region in the last two years as the insurgency pushes closer to the capital of Kabul. A U.S. Army intelligence officer in the valley near the incident says, "It's a stronghold for the Taliban."

President Obama offered his condolences to those who were slain: “Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifice made by the men and women of our military and their families." A former SEAL who knew several of the men who died in the attack tells the Daily News,"It's not the way you want to go. You're not in control, and these guys like to be in control…It's just as bad as it gets."