Taliban Claims Downing American Aircraft in Afghanistan’s Ghazni, US Military Confirms
By Staff, Agencies
An aircraft that crashed in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Ghazni was claimed by Taliban militants who stated it was a US forces plane they shot in an area controlled largely by the militant group.
"An aircraft of American occupiers has crashed in Ghazni province," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a Pashto-language statement, adding that all the crewmembers on board have been killed, AFP reported.
The aircraft is said to have crashed in territory under the Taliban control and the militants were reportedly seen helping to put out the fire at the crash site.
Relatively, Afghan Special Forces were headed to the site to investigate the incident
Before confirming the news, an AP report quoted the US military as saying that it is investigating reports of the airplane crash in Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan.
US Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a spokeswoman for US Central Command, said it was not clear whose aircraft was involved in the crash, though she declined to immediately comment further.
Officials from the United States Air Forces Central Command [AFCENT] also declined to comment on the incident, but pictures on social media purportedly from the crash site showed what could be the remains of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft, which the US military uses for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan.
Later on Monday, the US military confirmed the crash of an E-11A military aircraft in Afghanistan's Ghazni province.
Taking to his Twitter account, US military spokesman, Colonel Sonny Leggett, however, rejected claims by Taliban militants that they shot it down, saying that there were "no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire."
"Taliban claims that additional aircraft have crashed are false," Leggett added.