The Taliban claimed responsibility for the downing of a “special American aircraft” flying over Afghanistan on what it described as an intelligence mission, while the U.S. military said there was no indication the plane was hit by hostile fire.
The crash happened Monday in the Taliban-controlled Sado Khel area of the Deh Yak district in Ghazni Province, the Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mustached said.
“All on board including high-ranking CIA officers were killed.”
Hours after the Taliban claims, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan confirmed that a U.S. Bombardier E-11A plane had crashed. “While the cause of crash is under investigation, there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire,” Col. Sonny Leggett said.
“Appears we have lost an aircraft,” said Gen. David Goldfein, the U.S. Air Force chief of staff. “We don’t know the status of the crew.”
Earlier Monday, Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority provided some details. “The plane was apparently dispatched for military operations and it took off from Afghanistan territory,” said Ghulam Masoom Massumi, the director of air traffic management at the authority. “The military plane was not a cargo plane.”