US confirms reports of plane crash in Afghanistan

This photograph released by the Pajhwok Afghan News shows the wreckage of a US military aircraft they claim to have downed in Ghazni province on Jan. 27, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Pajhwok Afghan News)
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Updated 28 January 2020

US confirms reports of plane crash in Afghanistan

  • Says ‘no indication’ yet that it was downed by the Taliban
  • Insurgents claim responsibility for Monday’s incident which killed all on board

KABUL/KARACHI: The Afghan Taliban on Monday claimed responsibility for the downing of a US military aircraft which crashed in the Ghazni province earlier in the day.

“A special aircraft of the American occupant was flying in the area for the purpose of an intelligence mission in the Sado Khail region of Deh Yak district of Ghazni province,” Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Monday which was accompanied by video footage and photographs of the aircraft and charred bodies.

“Our mujahideen have taken down (the aircraft) tactically,” he told Arab News, adding that all crew members and passengers consisting of several senior CIA officers were killed. The fuselage and the bodies remained at the crash site,’ he said.

In the photographs, the letters “USAF” (United States Air Force) can be seen on the wreckage.




This photograph released by the Afghan Taliban shows the wreckage of a US military aircraft they claim to have downed in Ghazni province on Jan. 27, 2020. (Supplied)

Earlier on Monday, the US military in Afghanistan confirmed that “a US Bombardier E-11A crashed today in Ghazni province, Afghanistan.”

“While the cause of crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire. We will provide additional information as it becomes available,” US military spokesman, Col. Sonny Leggett, said in a Twitter post.

In a separate tweet, he said that the Taliban’s claims that additional aircraft have crashed “are false.”

In a television statement released early on Monday, Ghazni Governor Waheedullah Kalemzai said that the crash took place outside the government’s area of control.

Kalemzai’s spokesman Aref Noori told reporters in an audio message the “aircraft belonged to a foreign company and all of the passengers on board were non-Afghans.”

“The plane has caught fire. Except for the two pilots, the rest of the bodies cannot be identified, nor the type of plane can be specified,” he said.

He said that the government did not have any immediate information about the type or origin of the plane or how many people were on board.

Initial reports said that the aircraft belonged to state-owned Ariana Afghan Airlines. The airline has dismissed the reports.


US strike in Somalia kills Shabab ‘senior leader’: Pentagon

Updated 07 April 2020

US strike in Somalia kills Shabab ‘senior leader’: Pentagon

  • The strike left three Shabab militants dead, including Yusuf Jiis, a “foundational” leader of the extremist organization, which has carried out deadly attacks against Somali government
  • Africa Command Commander General Stephen Townsend said Jiis was a “key leader” in Al-Shabab

WASHINGTON: An April 2 airstrike by US forces in Somalia killed a “senior leader” of the Al-Shabab militant group, the US Defense Department said Tuesday.
The strike left three Shabab militants dead, including Yusuf Jiis, a “foundational” leader of the extremist organization, which has carried out deadly attacks against Somali government and public targets for years, the US Africa Command said in a statement.
Africa Command Commander General Stephen Townsend said Jiis was a “key leader” in Al-Shabab.
“He was violent, ruthless, and responsible for the loss of many innocent lives,” Townsend said in a statement.
Africa Command said the strike took place near Bush Madina, 135 miles (217 kilometers) west of Mogadishu, and was carried out in coordination with the Somali government.
It was one of several recent strikes on the group, often precision missiles launched by drones.
Another strike against Al-Shabab was carried out on Monday in the Jilib area of Somalia, which US forces said killed five extremists.
Africa Command said it was investigating reports of civilian deaths and injuries although it expressed confidence that there weren’t any.
Townsend said there would be no letup in the US campaign against Al-Shabab during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa, and its long-term stability is important to advancing comprehensive US interests in the region,” Africa Command said.