The US military command in Kabul did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter that an “enemy intelligence plane” crashed. However, he later told The Washington Post that “our mujahideen [fighters] the plane crashed tactically. ” He did not explain what tactics were supposedly used to take down the plane.
Mujahid’s claim that the Taliban fighters caused the accident comes only weeks after the Taliban leaders presented to the US negotiators a proposal to reduce violence and restart peace talks.
Arif Noori, spokesman for the governor of Ghazni Province, confirmed the accident in The Washington Post, but said he could not identify the type of aircraft, except to say that “the plane belonged to a foreign company and all passengers on board did not They were -Afgans.
Ahmad Khan Seerat, a spokesman for Ghazni police, said Afghan special forces were sent to the scene of the accident.
Despite initial reports that the plane could be a passenger plane, an Afghan Ministry of Transportation spokesman, Ali Sena Saeed, said no civil aircraft in Afghanistan crashed on Monday.
The video posted on social networks seems to show the charred fuselage of an Air Force Bombardier E-11A, an electronic surveillance aircraft that helps boost tactical communications on the battlefield. The white plane in the video bears a distinctive star emblem on the engine paired with sky and dark blue stripes on its body.
The Washington Post could not independently verify the location of the accident.
According to Storyful, a social media intelligence firm that verifies media content, the Taliban-linked account video also shows a serial number that seems to match the unique serial number in photographs and videos of an E-plane. -11A of the US Air Force UU. The Air Force shared a video of an E-11A aircraft taking off from the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan on February 18, 2018.
The subsequent video seems to show numbers 11-9 painted near the cabin. While the rest of the numbers are burned, the 2018 video of the E-11A BACN shows that the serial number 11-9358 is painted at approximately the same location as on the downed plane.
The E-11A mission in Afghanistan is essentially a flying radio tower that helps transmit communications between land units and commanders, which is often a challenge in mountainous and rugged terrain.
“It’s like Wi-Fi in the sky,” a pilot told the Air Force news service in 2018. All E-11A with that payload are operated only from the Kandahar airfield, according to the Air Force.
Its payload developed after radio communication problems contributed to the disastrous Operation Red Wings mission in 2005, when a Navy SEAL team was attacked by a massive Taliban force in the rugged Konar province.
Three SEALs died and 16 Special Operations troops died when their helicopter was shot down on a rescue mission. The mission was popularized later in the book and the movie “Lone Survivor”.
Ghazni is a particularly volatile province in Afghanistan, with Taliban forces controlling or disputing several of its districts. In 2018, a roadside bomb claimed by the Taliban in Ghazni killed three US troops.
The conflict in Afghanistan has intensified in recent months as US and Taliban negotiators have tried to reach an agreement on a peace agreement that allows thousands of US troops to withdraw from the country.
There are about 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan, according to the US military command in Kabul.
US negotiators are asking the Taliban for a reduction in violence before peace talks can be formally resumed. The Taliban leadership has presented a proposal to reduce violence, but the talks remain stagnant.
George reported from Islamabad, Pakistan. Alex Horton and Joyce Lee in Washington and Sharif Hassan in Kabul contributed to this report.