Taliban capture 9 from helicopter

A helicopter owned by an Afghan company made an emergency landing in a Taliban-controlled area of eastern Afghanistan and the insurgents took all nine people on board hostage, officials said today.

Taliban capture 9 from helicopter

A helicopter owned by an Afghan company made an emergency landing in a Taliban-controlled area of eastern Afghanistan and the insurgents took all nine people on board hostage, officials said today.

A district administrator in the area said the helicopter landed in strong winds and rain in a village in Logar province, south-east of Kabul, and about 20 miles (30km) from the Pakistan border yesterday afternoon.

Hamidullah Hamid said today that the Taliban captured all nine people on board the aircraft and took them from the area. He said the crew and passengers are all civilian. Some media reports said the captives were all Turkish.

Logar deputy police chief Rais Khan Abdul Rahimzai said the helicopter is owned by the Khaorasan company. He did not know what cargo it was carrying or where it was heading.

Nato confirmed that the helicopter went down yesterday, but the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) did not have any other details.

Isaf spokeswoman Erin Stattel said the coalition was assisting in the recovery of the aircraft. She could not say whether the aircraft had made a precautionary landing or whether the Taliban had forced it down.

In Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it was asking officials in Afghanistan to check unconfirmed news reports that some or all of the nine people on board the helicopter were Turkish citizens.

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