US military investigate plane crash in Taliban-held area of Afghanistan

The US military has said it is investigating reports of a plane crash in a Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan.

US military investigate plane crash in Taliban-held area of Afghanistan

Update - 13.35pm: The US military has said it is investigating reports of a plane crash in a Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan.

US Army Major Beth Riordan, a spokeswoman for US Central Command, said that it remained unclear whose aircraft was involved in the crash.

Maj. Riordan declined to immediately comment further.

However, 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.

Earlier: Mystery over plane crash reports in Taliban-held area in Afghanistan

A plane has crashed in a Taliban-held area of Ghazni province in Afghanistan, according to local officials.

Officials initially said it was a passenger plane from Afghanistan’s Ariana Airlines, but the airline told the Associated Press that none of its planes had crashed in Afghanistan.

The conflicting accounts could not immediately be reconciled.

The number of people on board and their fate was not immediately known, nor was the cause of the crash.

Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the plane went down around 1.10pm local time (8.40am Irish Time) in Deh Yak district, 80 miles south-west of the capital Kabul.

He said the crash site is in territory controlled by the Taliban. Two provincial council members also confirmed the crash.

But the acting director for Ariana Airlines, Mirwais Mirzakwal, dismissed reports that one the company’s aircraft had crashed.

The state-owned airline also released a statement on its website saying all its aircraft were operational and safe.

Earlier: Afghan passenger plane crashes in Taliban-held area

A passenger plane from Afghanistan’s Ariana Airlines has crashed in a Taliban-held area of Ghazni province, local officials said.

Arif Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the plane went down around 1.10pm local time in Deh Yak district, which is held by the Taliban.

Two provincial council members also confirmed the crash.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

File photo of an Ariana Airlines plane
File photo of an Ariana Airlines plane

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 the capital Kabul crashed into the mountains as it tried to land in snowy weather.

The war, however, has seen a number of deadly crashes of military aircraft.

In 2013, an American Boeing 747 cargo jet crashed shortly after take-off from Bagram air base north of Kabul en route to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

All seven crew member were killed.

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