Hostage crisis: Taliban capture seven Turks, two Russians
Zee Media Bureau
Puli Alam: The Taliban have seized up to nine foreigners which includes seven Turks and two Russians from a civilian helicopter which had to make an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan, as per BBC reports.
The Taliban, in a statement on their website have also claimed to have taken 11 US military personnel under captive.
"They were captured alive and were then transferred to the most secure region of the nation", the statement said further.
The helicopter had to make an emergency landing due to the bad weather in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said.
The incident happened after the Turkish helicopter landed yesterday evening, said Rais Khan Sadeq, deputy police chief of Logar province south of Kabul.
"Security forces found the helicopter but the nine people were not in it. They are taken by the Taliban," Sadeq said to a news agency.
The Taliban said they immediately surrounded the helicopter and set it ablaze after it made an emergency landing in bad weather.
"The foreign forces, by disassociating themselves from the helicopter, are trying to make it seem as the detainees are civilians but denial will not benefit them as all were captured while wearing American military uniforms," the statement said.
Afghan officials and the firm which chartered the helicopter said it was a civilian flight. The charter firm said seven Turks working on a road project, a Russian pilot and flight engineer and an Afghan co-pilot were on board.
Earlier, Turkey`s foreign ministry had said in Ankara that its diplomats were holding "intensive talks" with Afghan authorities to establish their whereabouts.
Officials in Logar province south of Kabul gave different information on the passengers and crew, saying eight Turks and one Afghan were aboard.
"Security forces found the helicopter but the nine people were not in it. They are taken by the Taliban," Rais Khan Sadeq, deputy provincial police chief said.
Provincial spokesman Din Mohammad Darvish also said eight Turks and an Afghan had been detained.
However, the International forces are assisting in the search for the passengers.
With AFP inputs
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