ORAKZAI AGENCY - A military helicopter crashed in Orakzai Agency near the Afghan border on Friday, killing 26 security personnel. Some sources said that militants hiding in the mountains had fired at the MI-17 helicopter with heavy and sophisticated weapons near Chapper Farozkhel. However, ISPR had denied the report and said that the helicopter crashed because of technical fault. An MI-17 helicopter crashed due to technical fault ... 26 security personnel embraced martyrdom, said the official, who declined to be identified. Reuters/AFP add: Military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP: This is a utility helicopter. Because of technical faults, it crashed in Orakzai Agency. There is no operation in Orakzai. It was flying over from a destination in FATA (Federally-Administered Tribal Areas) and going back to Peshawar, Abbas said. Monitoring Desk adds: German news agency DPA reported that the Taliban have claimed that they have shot down the Army helicopter in Orakzai. A spokesman for the militants told a private TV channel that the Taliban had also captured the pilot of the helicopter. If the claim is correct, it could be the first helicopter brought down by the Taliban in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas told BBC the helicopter crashed on the border of the Khyber and Orakzai tribal region. The cause of the crash is unclear, although officials said the most likely explanation was a technical failure. BBCs correspondent Mike Wooldridge in Islamabad said it was understood the MI-17 helicopter had been flying back to Peshawar from the Afghan border region when the pilot put out a Mayday alert. The helicopter then came down 'in a hostile area' where it was fired upon by militants, according to officials. Troops were sent in and exchanged fire with the insurgents. Military officials said that an investigation into the crash would be carried out. But BBC correspondent said it is a serious blow for the Pakistani military as it prepares for the next phase of its offensive against Taliban militants in the north-west tribal belt along the Afghan border.