Afghan forces start operation to save captives from Taliban

Afghan security forces have started an operation to rescue 18 captives that were kidnapped by Taliban militants

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Taliban fighters pose with weapons in an undisclosed location in Nangarhar province

The Afghan Ministry of Defense said its military forces started an operation on Wednesday to rescue 18 people who were captured by the Taliban after their helicopter had to make an emergency landing due a technical problem in a territory which was under the control of Taliban militants.

The Taliban claimed it shot the MI-17 helicopter owned by a private foreign company and captured 15 people, and killed 5 others.

A statement published by the ministry of defence said the helicopter had to make an emergency landing due to technical problems and "The insurgents then attacked and as a result two soldiers and one member of the crew were killed ... 18 people were captured."

"Security forces have started a clearance operation to free the captives."

The Taliban that has been fighting to overthrow the US backed government in Afghanistan and beat off foreign forces have recently made gains outside their southern and eastern locations through northern areas including Faryab.

The ministry did not give details about the identity of the captives and also the private company that operates the helicopter, while the police said on Tuesday that 13 government soldiers were captured.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement that “the captured people have been taken to a safe place and an investigation has started."

He did not mention whether there were foreigners among the captives, while a US defense official did not speak about the incident itself but rejected allegations via twitter that no US military staff had been captured.

TRTWorld and agencies