A US military plane with at least two members of the US service on board crashed into the Taliban-controlled Afghan territory, defense officials said, posing a complicated search and recovery effort.
Chief of Staff of the Air Force
General David Goldfein
He said the plane was an Air Force E-11, an electronic surveillance plane. There was no indication that Monday’s accident was caused by enemy fire, the army colonel said.
spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense did not say how many were on board or if there were victims.
A US defense official said the Pentagon believes a mechanical failure caused the accident. The plane was part of a group of aircraft assigned to the 430th expeditionary electronic combat squadron based in Kandahar, the official said.
The risk of recovery planes falling under the Taliban attack has hindered the recovery mission, the US official said. Secretary of Defense
Speaking with his French counterpart in a Pentagon briefing on Monday, he refused to discuss the details of the accident.
A senior Afghan security official said four people on board died in the accident, adding that they were all foreigners. “The plane is completely destroyed,” he said.
The official said Taliban fighters recovered the bodies of those on board and that the government is trying to recover them. Afghan security forces have been sent to the accident area. Pentagon officials said they did not know the location of the remains.
Mohammad Qasim Wafaizada,
The head of the Afghan civil aviation authority said the military plane manufactured by Bombardier crashed in the province of Ghazni, south of the capital, Kabul. The accident occurred in the Sado village of the Deh Yak district, an area controlled by the Taliban.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the US military plane crashed in the province, killing everyone on board. The group did not claim to have shot down the plane, but said it had shot down several US planes in the area in the past. The Taliban have previously claimed responsibility for strikes where no links have been found with the group.
—Gordon Lubold in Washington contributed to this article.
Write to Nancy A. Youssef at [email protected]
Corrections and Amplifications
The name of the reporter Ehsanullah Amiri was misspelled as Amir in an earlier version of this article. (January 28, 2020)
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