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US military confirms jet crash in Afghanistan

US confirms jet crash

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m.

An American military aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the U.S. military said, adding that there were no indications so far it'd been brought down by enemy fire.

The spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Col. Sonny Leggett, said that the military plane, a Bombardier E-11A, crashed in the Ghazni province and an investigation of its causes was ongoing.

Monday's plane crash is not expected to derail U.S.-Taliban peace talks if it turns out to have been an accident.

The Bombardier E-11A is a U.S. Air Force electronic surveillance plane. Video from the crash site circulating on social media appeared to show its charred ruins.

A Taliban spokesman and Afghan journalist affiliated with the militant group had earlier said the mystery crash was a U.S. military plane.

Tariq Ghazniwal, a journalist in the area, said that he saw the burning aircraft. In an exchange on Twitter, he told The Associated Press that he saw two bodies and the front of the aircraft was badly burned. He added that the aircraft's body and tail were hardly damaged. His information could not be independently verified.

Ghazniwal said the crash site was about 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) from a U.S. military base. Local Taliban have been deployed to protect the crash site, he said, and several other militants were combing the nearby village for two people they suspect may have survived the crash.

The Taliban hold much of Ghazni province and have total control over the local area of the crash.

Ghazniwal said the site was near a village called Sado Khelo, in the Deh Yak district. He also said the crash occurred soon after 1 p.m. local time, but residents in the area did not report a loud crashing noise. He couldn't say whether the aircraft had been shot down but “the crash was not loud.”


ORIGINAL: 6:45 a.m.

A U.S. military aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, a Taliban spokesman and Afghan journalist affiliated with the militant group said.

Tariq Ghazniwal, a journalist in the area, said that he saw the burning aircraft. In an exchange on Twitter, he told The Associated Press that he saw two bodies and the front of the aircraft was badly burned. He added the aircraft's body and tail were hardly damaged. His information could not be independently verified.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a U.S. airforce plane crashed in the Ghazni province. He claimed the crash killed “lots" of U.S. service members. The militant group often exaggerates casualty figures.

Ghazniwal said the crash site was about 10 kilometres from a U.S. military base.

U.S. Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, declined to comment when told about the Taliban claim. She earlier acknowledged American military officials were investigating reports of a crash in Afghanistan. She said that it remained unclear whose aircraft was involved in the crash.

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 U.S. military uses for electronic surveillance over Afghanistan.

Images on social media purportedly of the crashed plane showed an aircraft bearing U.S. Air Force markings similar to other E-11A surveillance aircraft photographed by aviation enthusiasts. Visible registration numbers on the plane also appeared to match those aircraft.



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