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US jet crashes in Taliban territory in Afghanistan: report

27 Jan 2020 TheHill

A U.S. Air Force jet crashed in mountainous Taliban territory in Afghanistan on Monday.

An Afghan official said the jet's two pilots were found dead on the scene, CBS News reported

Provincial government spokesperson Arif Noori told CBS News that the bodies of two pilots were found at the site with the completely destroyed plane. He said the plane was thought to have been flying between Kandahar and Kabul. 

A U.S. military official confirmed to the network that an Air Force E-11 went down in Afghanistan and said the cause of the incident is being investigated.

The Taliban reportedly claimed credit for downing the plane, but the group has a pattern of taking responsibility for events it is not involved with. Taliban spokesman Zabinhullah Mujahid claimed “lots” of U.S. service members were killed, Al Jazeera reported

The U.S. Air Force uses the jet that crashed as a flying command and communications hub, according to CBS News. 

Reports initially said Afghan officials thought the downed plane belonged to state-owned Ariana Afghan, but Ariana Afghan CEO Mirwais Mirzakwal denied the reports and said all flights were safe, according to Reuters

The Hill reached out to the Air Force for comment.

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