A Pakistani government helicopter crash-landed in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, their embassy in Kabul said, with local authorities saying all six people on board were taken hostage by the Taliban. The insurgents have not so far commented on the incident in Azra district in the restive province of Logar.
“An Mi-17 transport helicopter belonging to the Punjab government was scheduled to fly to Russia for repair. We think the same chopper crash-landed in Logar,” Pakistani embassy spokesman Akhtar Munir told AFP.
“We don’t know anything about the fate of those on-board or why it crash-landed.” The local district governor Hamidullah Hamid said six people on board had been taken hostage by Taliban insurgents.
“They have been taken to an unknown location,” he said. The helicopter caught fire after it crashed, said Logar governor’s spokesman Salim Saleh. Russian-made Mi-17s are used by the Pakistani military.
There was no official comment from the Pakistani military or Afghan defense ministry officials. Kabul has long accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and continuing to nurture sanctuaries on its soil in the hope of maintaining influence in Afghanistan.