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Taliban may have used sophisticated arms to down plane

27 Jan 2020 Afghanistan Times

AT News KABUL: Political and military experts think that Taliban militants have been armed with modern air defense weapons that enable them down planes, pointing to two air incidents on the same day. A foreign helicopter crashed on Monday in Ghazni province’s district of Deh Yak. Simultaneously, an airplane of the national army made an emergency landing in Sharan city, provincial capital of Ghazn’s neighboring province of Paktika. Military experts reject conjectures that Monday’s crashes were accidental, warning that such incidents could increase in the future if peace negotiations fail as the insurgents have got modern air defense weapons. They say that escalating tensions between Iran and the United States could have helped Taliban to receive air defense weapons to down Afghan and foreign planes. Taliban militants have targeted four planes in the provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Farah and Helmand in the past one month, with the most recent one in Helmand’s district of Kajaki. According to military experts, targeting of the chopper and military plane was not accidental and Taliban had long plan for them. They said that Monday’s incidents show that insurgents have been armed with sophisticated weapons. Ministry of Defense called the reason of plane emergency landing technical problems, but assured of an investigation for further information.

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