Plane crashes in Afghanistan, Taliban says shot down US jet

Kabul: The Taliban on Monday claimed that it had shot down an American military plane in Deh Yak district of Ghazni province in Afghanistan, killing everyone on board, a media report said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that high-ranking officers were among the dead after the aircraft was shot down around 1.10 p.m. (local time), Mail Online reported.

The US military said it is investigating the crash but did not confirm that the aircraft was American or gave an estimate on the deaths.

Mujahid spoke after footage was posted online by a Taliban-affiliated journalist appearing to show plane wreckage with the US Air Force symbol.

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Whilst most of the jet was a charred wreck, a USAF symbol was clearly visible on an engine attached to the tail fin of the plane, which could be a Bombardier E-11A aircraft used by the US military for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan.

Initial reports had said a Boeing jet belonging to state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines had caught fire and crashed in central Ghazni province in Afghanistan on Monday.

The passenger plane had 83 people on board when it crashed due to technical reasons, the Mail Online report had quoted officials, with no information as yet on the casualties.

Arif Noori, a spokesman for the provincial governor’s office in Ghazni city, said: “A Boeing plane belonging to the Ariana Afghan Airline crashed in Sado Khel area of Deh Yak district of Ghazni province around 1.10 p.m. (local time).”

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Ariana Airlines, however, said all its planes were safe.

The crash site was around around 130 km south west of Kabul, and reported to be under Taliban control.

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