Politics

DEVELOPING: Taliban Claims it Shot Down U.S. Air Force Plane Carrying CIA Officials in Afghanistan

By LifeZette | January 27, 2020

The Taliban has just taken responsibility, claiming they shot down a United States Air Force plane in Afghanistan which they say was carrying ‘high-ranking’ CIA officers.

The Daily Star reported that the aircraft was shot down on Monday afternoon in the Ghazni province of the Middle Eastern nation.

Originally, it was claimed by local officials that the plane was a Boeing 737-400 jet belonging to Ariana Airlines that was carrying 83 people, but photos clearly showed that the aircraft had a U.S. Air Forces logo.

This caused the U.S. military to launch an investigation into the incident, and the Taliban has since admitted that they shot down the plane, which was in fact a U.S. Air Force Bombardier E-11A.

According to the The Daily Star, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement that everyone onboard the plane was killed, and that passengers included high-ranking CIA officers.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid added that “lots” of U.S. service members were killed in the crash, but since the terrorist group is known to exaggerate when it comes to casualty figures, it is unknown at this time just if the statement is true or not.

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The plane reportedly came down in the mountainous Deh Yak district just 10km (6.2 miles) from a U.S. military base at around 1:15pm local time.

The area where the plane crashed is controlled by the Taliban, which made it difficult for Afghan forces to reach the crash site earlier.

The U.S. Air Force has yet to officially commented on this situation.

“We are aware of the reports and are investigating,” an official with the U.S. Defense Department told Military Times. “At this point, we cannot confirm it is a DOD [Department of Defense] asset.”

Ghazni police commander Ahmed Khalid Wardak told the BBC that there is currently no information available about casualties, as it is unknown just how many people were onboard the plane at the time of the crash.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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