News / Asia

    Taliban Captures 11 in Eastern Afghanistan

    Taliban militants say they have captured the crew and passengers of an Afghan-owned civilian helicopter that was forced to make an emergency landing in militant-controlled territory in eastern Afghanistan.

    A civilian helicopter apparently landed Sunday in bad weather in the eastern Afghan province of Logar, about 30 kilometers from the Pakistani border.  

    Turkey's Foreign Ministry confirmed that eight Turks were among those on board the helicopter. The aircraft had been traveling from Khost to the capital, Kabul.  Other people on board included at least one Afghan and one Russian.  A statement from the Taliban claims the helicopter carried 11 Americans along with two Afghan translators and that all had been taken to a secure location after the helicopter was destroyed.

    Interior Ministry spokesman Seddiq Seddiqui said security forces had been sent to the site, but could not confirm who was on board the flight.
     
    “It is one of those helicopters typically chartered by a private outfit or a construction company,” he said. “We do not have information about the identity of the crew and passengers of the helicopter, we are working on it and we hope by the end of today we will be able to provide some details.”

    Many private companies operating in Afghanistan use chartered helicopters to travel because of the danger of traveling on the road.
     
    Contacted by VOA, The Khorasan Cargo Airlines office in Afghanistan declined to comment, saying they had no information on the incident. Khorasan is a civilian company that offers cargo and civilian transportation inside Afghanistan.
     
    A spokesman for Logar’s provincial governor, Deen Mohammad Darwesh said the helicopter had been chartered by a private Turkish company, and that bad weather had forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in the Azra district of Lugar Sunday afternoon. He also said most of those on board were Turkish nationals.  
     
    NATO spokesman General Gunter Katz says coalition forces are working with the Afghan government to carry out search and rescue operations.   
     
    “[On] unconfirmed reports that a civilian helicopter is missing in eastern Afghanistan - ISAF is assisting the Afghan authorities in the search for this helicopter and this is all I can tell you for the time being,” he said.
     
    Logar is known as a province with a relatively strong Taliban presence. More than 20 militants were killed and dozens of others captured there last month in a joint Afghan and international forces operation.
     
    Meanwhile, the International Security Forces released a statement Monday saying Afghan and coalition forces have arrested a leader of the terrorist Haqqani network in eastern Afghanistan.  
     
    They also said a local Taliban leader in southern Afghanistan, responsible for organizing attacks on Afghan and coalition forces had been killed, and confirmed the death of a senior leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, one of a number of militant groups operating in Afghanistan.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    UN Observes International Day of Peacekeepers

    The U.N. honors 3,400 peacekeepers killed since first mission in 1948

    Video Rolling Thunder Tribute to US Military Turns into a Trump Rally

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora