Taliban claims that they have shot down United States Military aircraft in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, south of the capital.
Taliban claims US aircraft crashed in an area controlled largely by the group, killing all passengers onboard.
The Taliban have claimed a US forces aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan hours after the plane went down in an area controlled largely by the group.
The Taliban statement on Monday came hours after social media was rife with suggestions that the plane was from state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines.
However, the company said the rumours were “not true”. “All the flights of Ariana Afghan Airlines have been completed normally,” read a statement on the carrier’s verified Facebook page.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan also denied reports that the plane was a commercial flight.
“According to our information no commercial airline crash has been recorded. And Ariana Afghan Airlines have reassured us that all their planes are accounted for,” said the organisation.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the crash killed “lots” of US service members. However, the group often exaggerates casualty figures.
“An aircraft of American occupiers has crashed in Ghazni province,” Mujahid said in a statement in Pashto language, adding that all crew members onboard were killed.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah also claiming that they have shot down the helicopter that came to rescue the aircraft victims.
When asked about the Taliban claim, US Central Command’s spokeswoman Major Beth Riordan declined to comment.
She had earlier acknowledged US military officials were investigating reports of the crash, saying it remained unclear whose aircraft was involved.
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.
The spokesman for the governor of Ghazni province has said that according to his people on the ground, this is was not an Afghan aircraft. So that would suggest this is not an Ariana Airlines aircraft as previously was suspected by many people.
Afghan security forces were present at the scene.There were reports from witnesses that all passengers onboard were dead.
There are no survivors and only the pilots’ bodies are recognisable at this stage. Afghan soldiers are saying that as far as they are concerned, from the wreckage and the bodies of the pilots, that they do not appear to be Afghan.
The mountainous Ghazni province sits in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains and is bitterly cold in winter.
The last major commercial air crash in Afghanistan occurred in 2005 when a Kam Air flight from western Herat to Kabul crashed into the mountains as it tried to land in snowy weather.
The South Asian nation, however, has seen several deadly crashes of the military aircraft.
One of the most spectacular occurred in 2013 when an American Boeing 747 cargo jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram airbase in the north of Kabul on its way to Dubai. All seven crew members were killed.
Taliban claims that they have shot down United States aircraft in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province.