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8 Turks, pilot captured by Afghan Taliban as copter makes emergency landing

A helicopter made an emergency landing in Afghanistan.
A helicopter made an emergency landing in Afghanistan.

At least eight Turkish nationals and a pilot were allegedly captured by Taliban militants last evening after their helicopter made an emergency landing in Eastern Afghanistan.

Kabul, April 22/Nationalturk –  The Afghan Taliban have captured at least eight Turkish nationals and a pilot after a helicopter made an emergency landing in Eastern Afghanistan last evening.

Afghanistan security officials said the private helicopter, owned by air charter company Khorasan Cargo Airlines, made an emergency landing in Azra district in Logar province. Khorasan flies Russian Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters as well as fixed-wing aircraft in Afghanistan. They offer troops and cargo transportation as well as medivac and civilian transportation services.

Deputy police chief of Logar province Rais Khan Sadeq said Afghan security forces reached the spot and found the helicopter. “However, eight Turks, who were travelling in the plane, and the pilot were not found. They have reportedly been captured by Taliban militants”.

Azra district of Logar province is located near the Pakistan border and is considered as Taliban stronghold.

The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) quoted head of the Logar Provincial Council, Abdol Wali Wakil as saying that the helicopter made emergency landing due to bad weather in the Mangal area of Azra District late yesterday.

A spokesman of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) while confirming the incident said the helicopter was a civilian aircraft and not part of ISAF.

CNN quoted Din Mohammad Darwesh, spokesman for Logar province’s governor as saying the helicopter landed in Logar because of equipment malfunction.

He said Taliban militants immediately surrounded the chopper and took the eight Turks and the pilot hostage.

Tribal elders help sought

“The local officials have sought help of tribal elders to secure release of eight Turks and the pilot,” Darwesh said.

The CNN further reported that Afghan Taliban, in a text message to news outlets, claimed that the group had forced the helicopter down.

The helicopter crashes and hard landings happen frequently in mountainous Afghanistan, where Taliban is battling ISAF forces since decade now.

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Faiz Ahmad / NationalTurk Afghanistan News


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