Taliban Seize Afghan Soldiers After Chopper Crash

Taliban Seize Afghan Soldiers  After Chopper CrashTaliban Seize Afghan Soldiers  After Chopper Crash

As many as 15soldiers were captured by the Taliban after their helicopter went down in northern Afghanistan. Two of the troops taken are reportedly foreigners.

The chopper crash-landed on Tuesday after experiencing technical problems during a flight in Afghanistan’s Faryab province, local officials confirmed.

The crashed helicopter was then ambushed by Taliban fighters shortly after it landed, sparking a shootout.

Three people were killed during the violence and the remainder of the crew and passengers—as many as 15 people—were seized. Security forces launched a rescue operation for the men.

“We captured 15 (people). If the army doesn’t stop (its rescue attempts) we will execute them,” Damullah Wakil, a local Taliban official, told AFP.

Two foreign soldiers, whose nationality was not immediately confirmed, were among those taken. The helicopter was then set on fire.

The area where the chopper went down lies close to the border with Turkmenistan and is partly controlled by the Taliban. It has been the scene of heavy fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces in recent weeks.

In late September, the Taliban temporarily seized control of provincial capital Kunduz—the first time the group had taken control of a major city since being toppled from power in 2001.

Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri confirmed that the helicopter had gone down but would not say where the helicopter was headed or who was on board.

Also in Afghanistan on Tuesday, six civilians were killed and six others wounded in two separate blasts in the capital Kabul. No one immediately claimed those attacks.

Taliban insurgents also killed a provincial director from the country’s national tax office in the eastern Ghazni province.