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US forces recover bodies from plane crash site in Afghanistan (officials)

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Tuesday, American soldiers retrieved the bodies of a crew who died in the crash of a US military plane in a Taliban-controlled area, hours after clashes erupted between Afghan forces seeking to reach the place of the crash, and the insurgents.

File Reuters

The plane crashed in a snowy area in eastern Afghanistan, on Monday afternoon. It is a Bombardier E-11A used for military communications.

Ghazni state police chief Khalid Wardak said that American helicopters landed at the crash site late in the afternoon, with the backing of Afghan security forces deployed on the ground during the operation.

“After the bodies were recovered, our forces returned to their bases. We do not know where the bodies were taken by foreigners,” Wardak added.

Ghazni Provincial Council Chairman Nasser Ahmed Faqiri confirmed the operation, saying that the Americans had taken at least two bodies from the crash site.

Earlier Tuesday, Coalition Forces conducted sorties over the crash site, while one of the aircraft fired illuminated bombs as a crowd gathered nearby, according to a local journalist who was in the area.

US officials have neither confirmed nor commented on Tuesday’s operation, or how many people were on board when it crashed.

Wardak said after the plane crash that Afghan security forces tried to reach the wreckage on Monday evening when they fell into an ambush of the Taliban and retreated.

Ghazni police spokesman Ahmed Khan Sirat confirmed the ambush, adding that at least one person was killed in clashes between the Taliban and Afghan forces.

Video scenes from the crash site showed a number of people speaking in Pashto and walking around the wreckage of the plane, as flames and smoke were rising from its structure.

At least two bodies were seen.

The crashes of military aircraft, especially helicopters, are repeated in Afghanistan due to the country’s difficult mountainous terrain and poor weather conditions, but are often recorded among the Afghan forces.

File news
File Reuters

The plane crash comes at a time when Washington and the Taliban are seeking to reach a possible agreement that would allow the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees.

The two sides have been negotiating an agreement a year ago, and that seemed imminent in September 2019 before President Donald Trump suddenly announced that the operation was “dead” referring to Taliban violence.

Taliban sources told AFP earlier this month that the movement had offered the initiative for a limited ceasefire, lasting seven to ten days, to officially restart the talks, but there was no announcement in this regard from either side.


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