The Mercenaries Crashed Their Helicopter

A war photo a day #16

The Mercenaries Crashed Their Helicopter The Mercenaries Crashed Their Helicopter

Uncategorized August 21, 2013 0

David Axe photo The Mercenaries Crashed Their Helicopter A war photo a day #16 Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than I... The Mercenaries Crashed Their Helicopter
David Axe photo

The Mercenaries Crashed Their Helicopter

A war photo a day #16

Eight years. Seven wars. More death and destruction than I care to recount. I’ve been covering armed conflict since 2005. Every battlefield has its stories … and its unforgettable images. Follow me through my career at war, one jarring, haunting or sublime photo a day until I run out.

Leaving behind the battlefields of Middle East, East Africa and East Timor, in mid-2008 I blundered into Central Africa — Chad, specifically, chasing the explosive side effects of the Darfur genocide in Sudan. In the desert outside the border town of Abeche this Hind gunship helicopter lay wrecked and under guard from young soldiers who let me take pictures, asking only for some cigarettes in exchange.

The gun- and rocket-armed Hind—one of the most fearsome warplanes in the world—was flown by two Ukrainian mercenaries working for the Chadian government, hunting Sudanese rebels prowling the border zone, I was told. Mechanical error or a well-aimed bullet brought down the hulking machine. The war pilots-for-hire were spirited away for medical treatment—and to obscure their role in the region’s terrible fighting.

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