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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora