Afghan army helicopter makes emergency landing

Kabul, Feb 24 (IANS) An Afghan army helicopter made a crash landing in Kunduz province, a spokesman of the Defence Ministry said, adding the crew members were rescued after the landing.

“A MD 530 helicopter, which was en route for a combat task to northern Takhar province, made emergency landing in Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province. All crew members were rescued safely by another helicopter,” Gen. Dawlat Waziri said in a statement on Thursday.

The official added that as the crashed helicopter was not in a state to be repaired, the wreckage was destroyed by army personnel at the site, Xinhua news agency reported .

Waziri ruled out the involvement of militants in the incident saying the crash was caused by a technical failure in the aircraft.

However, Zabiullah Mujahid, a purported Taliban spokesman, has claimed responsibility for the crash in the restive province.

Mujahid told local media that the helicopter was shot down by Taliban and all the people aboard died following the crash.

The Kunduz province, together with neighboring Baghlan and Takhar provinces, has been the scene of heavy clashes over the past months as Taliban has been trying to challenge the security forces in the once relatively peaceful region.

On November 30, an Afghan army general and an Afghan air force pilot were killed and 10 others injured after a helicopter crashed in western Badghis province.

–IANS

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