Kabul, Afghanistan’s Taliban terrorist group on Wednesday claimed to have shot down a U.S. fighter jet that the U.S. military had earlier said had crashed as the result of an accident.
According to a Taliban statement, the incident occurred near the Bagram Airbase in the Parwan province, the largest American airbase in Afghanistan, located some 70 kilometers north of capital Kabul.
“A U.S. F-16 fighter jet was brought down this morning in the Seh Dokan locality,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in the statement.
According to the spokesman, all crew on board the jet were killed.
The U.S. military, for its part, issued a statement in which it said one of its F-16s had crashed Tuesday evening shortly after taking off from Bagram, but said enemy fire had not been a factor in the crash.
“A U.S. Air Force F-16 assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing crashed during takeoff on March 29 at about 8:30pm near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan,” the statement read.
The pilot, it added, had safely ejected from the aircraft, had been recovered by U.S.-led coalition forces, and was currently being evaluated by medical personnel at a hospital in Bagram.
Coalition forces had since secured the crash site, according to the statement, which went on to stress that enemy fire had not been a factor in the crash.
In a related development early Wednesday, an Afghan Air Force helicopter was reportedly forced to make an emergency landing in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province near the border with Pakistan.
According to local officials, none of the crew on board was hurt in the incident, which occurred in Kunar’s Nary district.
In this case, too, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the incident, saying their fighters had shot down the helicopter, causing a number of casualties.
“All 12 people [passengers] on board were killed, along with the helicopter crew,” Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, asserted.
Source- Anadolu News Agency