Nine members of the military were killed in the incident. An air force source and a provincial official, however, said that the helicopter was hit by a rocket while taking off in Maidan Wardak province.

FILE PHOTO: Afghan security forces inspect the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 15, 2021.
FILE PHOTO: Afghan security forces inspect the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 15, 2021. (Reuters Archive)

Nine Afghan security force members have been killed in a helicopter crash in central Afghanistan, according to the defence ministry.

A defence ministry statement on Thursday said they were investigating the crash which took place in Maidan Wardak province late on Wednesday and the dead included crew members and special force personnel.

An air force source and a provincial official said that the helicopter was hit by a rocket while taking off.

Kabul bomb attack kills three

Meanwhile, three people were killed and 11 others wounded when a roadside bomb hit a bus carrying Afghan government employees in Kabul, officials said on Thursday.

The bombing comes on the day the Afghan government, Taliban and key countries, including the United States and Russia, gather in Moscow to push for a reduction in violence to propel the Afghan peace process forward.

A spokesman for the Kabul police confirmed the casualty figures but gave no further details. 

Another official said the vehicle was carrying Afghan government employees.

READ MORE: Three women journalists shot dead in Afghanistan

The blast hit a bus which was rented by the Afghan ministry of information and technology to transport employees, said Abdul Samad Hamid Poya, a ministry adviser.

He added that it was unclear at the moment who the victims are.

No one claimed immediate responsibility for the blast, but the Afghan government has blamed the Taliban for running an assassination campaign against government employees, civil society figures and journalists.

The Taliban has denied being involved in the campaign.

READ MORE: Afghans hold their breath for peace as fighting season approaches

Source: Reuters