Taliban capture 13 Afghan soldiers after helicopter crash

KABUL: Taliban insurgents captured 13 Afghan government soldiers on Tuesday after their helicopter crashed in territory under the militants’ control, police said. Three soldiers were killed in the crash.


Sayed Aqa Saqeb, police chief for the northern province of Faryab where the transport helicopter went down, said it was not clear why it crashed.

“Now we’re thinking of ways to rescue those captured by the Taliban,” Saqeb said.

An army spokesman in northern Afghanistan said he had no information about a helicopter crash.

The Taliban, fighting to expel foreign forces and bring down the US-backed government, have made gains over the past year outside their southern and eastern heartlands and into northern areas including Faryab.

In October two British Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel and three others died when their helicopter crashed while landing at the headquarters of the Resolute Support international Nato coalition in the Afghan capital Kabul.

While in August, at least 17 people, including 12 Afghan army soldiers, were killed in a helicopter crash in Shinkay, a district relatively free of militant activity in the otherwise volatile province of Zabul.

The Taliban claimed to have shot down the chopper with a rocket launcher, but Shinkay district chief Mohammad Qasim Khan had attributed the crash to a technical fault.