Taliban claims plane carrying high-ranking US officers crashes in Afghanistan
A Taliban spokesman said that the aircraft’s crew and everyone on board, including what he claimed were high-ranking officers, were killed on the spot.
The so-far unverified claim includes a suggestion that the officers belonged to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
While the Pentagon has refused to immediately comment on the incident, anonymous US officials have confirmed to Reuters the loss of a military plane. “Less than 10 people” were on board, the officials said, adding that so far nothing indicates that the aircraft has been shot down.
Earlier on Monday, footage of charred remains of a crashed aircraft emerged online. It appears to be the Bombardier/Northrop Grumman E-11A — a surveillance and communications plane, employed by the US Air Force. The wreckage features distinctive markings used by the US military.
@pajhwok reporter Saifullah Maftoon visited the area in #Ghazni province, where an Aircraft crashed today, Our reporter found some document there. #Taliban said few US force officers were killed in this incident. #Afghanistanpic.twitter.com/2NhFbvgMGm— Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) January 27, 2020
Meanwhile, pictures of a USAF plane, with a serial number that appears to match that on the tail section of the filmed wreckage, has emerged on social media.
As @Aurora_Knish@AuroraIntel mentioned earlier than me, we've 11-9358 , 11-9355, 11-9001. on the crashed plane, 350 or 358 [not fully visible] could be seen, as there's no 11-9350, it definitely is 11-9358 / AE4DE2. pic.twitter.com/VcD0psWj5O— Aleph 🕯️ א (@no_itsmyturn) January 27, 2020
Later in the day, Taliban also claimed that a military helicopter went down in the east of the country, killing everyone on board. No footage to back up the claims has been provided, and it remains unclear to whom exactly the helicopter belonged.Also on rt.com WATCH first footage allegedly showing wreckage of US plane that crashed in Afghanistan
Editor’s note: While Reuters has earlier quoted a Taliban spokesman as saying that the aircraft was "brought down," the group’s original statement in Pushtu does not specify their responsibility for the crash.
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