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Taliban claims US military plane 'crashed' in Afghanistan

  • Published at 04:31 pm January 27th, 2020
Afghanistan
Afghan National Army forces go towards the site of an airplane crash in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, Afghanistan on Monday January 27, 2020 Reuters

Nato have yet to officially comment on the incident

The Taliban claimed a US forces aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan Monday hours after the plane went down into an area controlled largely by the insurgents.  

"An aircraft of American occupiers has crashed in Ghazni province," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a Pashto-language statement, adding that all the crew members onboard had been killed.

Nato have yet to officially comment on the incident.

Large swathes of rural areas in Ghazni province are controlled or under the influence of Taliban militants, making access difficult for officials.

The Taliban statement comes hours after social media was rife with suggestions that the plane was from state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines - however the company said the rumours were "not true."

"All the flights of Ariana Afghan Airlines have been completed normally," a statement on the carrier's verified Facebook page read.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan also denied reports that the plane was a commercial flight.

"According to our information from the Control Tower and Traffic Regulatory Authority, no commercial airline crash has been recorded. And Ariana Afghan Airlines have reassured us that all their planes are accounted for," said the organization.

Crashes involving military flights, particularly helicopters, are common in Afghanistan where inclement weather and creaky aircraft are often pressed to their limits in the war-torn country - and where insurgents have been known to target helicopters.

The last civilian flight to crash was in May 2010, when an ageing Pamir Airways plane went down in bad weather during a scheduled flight to Kabul from the northern province of Kunduz.

It was carrying six crew and 38 passengers when it crashed into a mountainside 20km from Kabul.