Taliban shot down US plane in Afghanistan

Taliban claims responsibility over shooting down C-130 in Afghanistan, NATO confirms 11 dead in attack

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

C-130 Hercules airplane

The Taliban claimed on Friday it militants shot down a US C-130 military transport plane in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 11 people, however, authorities haven’t confirmed this information yet, according to AFP.

The AFP addressed Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid's message that he shared through Twitter, “our mujahideen have shot down a four-engine US aircraft in Jalalabad. Based on credible information, 15 invading forces and a number of puppet troops were killed.”

A US military spokesman said that there were no reports of enemy fire in the area at the time of the crash on Thursday,

"A US C-130 aircraft crashed at Jalalabad Airport," at about midnight local time on Friday morning (1930 GMT), he said.

US Army Colonel Brian Tribus said that the crew of six US military service members and five civilian contractors are among the dead.

The civilian contractors were partaking in the “Resolute Support” mission, which is a NATO-led mission training and advising Afghan security forces. The mission is monitoring the military situation in Afghanistan after combat operations ended in 2014.

The cause of the crash is not yet known. The incident is under investigation.

"Cause of crash and status of crew and others onboard remains unknown," US Army Col. Brian Tribus said.

"We are gathering more information and will release as appropriate."

The C-130 Hercules, is a military tactical transport plane which has been used to carry troops, personnel and heavy cargo since 1950s. The plane was built by Lockheed Martin.

Jalalabad Airport, located about 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Jalalabad, is operated by the US Air Force and used by American drones for missions.

In March, the US and Afghan Government agreed on dropping the number of US troops in Afghanistan to 5,500 for the remainder of the year and into 2016. The US President, Barack Obama promised to withdraw a large number of troops and leave only a small force in Afghanistan, based at the US embassy, by the end of 2016.

Withdrawal plans for the US troops were changed earlier this year, about 10,000 troops remain in Afghanistan.

There were about 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan by the end of September, in accordance with a deal signed between Washington and Kabul.

According to NATO, almost 1,000 foreign troops are stationed in eastern Afghanistan, where the crash took place. They are working with 40,000 Afghan troops.

In July, a Hercules plane belonging to Indonesia’s military crashed in a residential part of Medan in northern Indonesia, killing 140 people.

TRTWorld and agencies