The US has denied Taliban claims they shot down an American cargo plane in eastern Afghanistan. The C-130 plane killing six soldiers and five civilian contractors. The US said there was no sign of hostile fire.
“With high confidence, it does not appear at this time that enemy fire was involved in the aircraft crash. We have first responders on scene working at the crash site doing recovery operations. An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the accident,” said Maj Tony Wickman of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram.
The C-130, normally used to carry heavy cargo and troops, crashed close to Jalalabad airport, which is occupied by the US. Five hours later, the claimed responsibility for the crash, which killed all 11 people on board.
“Our mujahideen have shot down a four-engine US aircraft in Jalalabad,” a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, . “Based on credible information 15 invading forces and a number of puppet troops were killed.”
The Taliban are generally not believed to possess many surface-to-air missiles, powerful enough to take down a plane the size of a C-130. Yet, the US has covered up at least one instance where the militants shot down a Chinook helicopter with such a missile, in 2007.
The Taliban, known to exaggerate about their military gains, made the claim after by seizing the strategic city of Kunduz for nearly three days.
In an operation on Wednesday, , but fighting is ongoing and many escaped residents are reluctant to return.
Amnesty International the Taliban’s “reign of terror” during the capture of Kunduz, with residents suffering gang-rapes and mass murder at the hands of the rebels.
Apart from a few thousand US troops in the country, who do not form part of Nato’s “resolute support” training mission, coalition soldiers rarely find themselves in the line of fire. Out of 2,370 US soldiers killed in the country since 2001, 14 died this year.