The Taliban claimed it shot down its second helicopter in Afghanistan in three days. Afghan officials confirmed a helicopter encountered problems in Logar province, but said it “made a hard landing due to technical problems.”
The Taliban released the following statement on Voice of Jihad, its official propaganda website:
The combined U.S invaders and local Special Forces were foiled in their attempts to break through Mujahideen defenses in Baraki Barak district of Logar province last night, according to Al-Emarah News reports.
It added Mujahideen shot down a helicopter gunship belonging to local Special Forces which was hovering over the area to bomb out Mujahideen positions during the intense fighting that that inflicted the worst casualties on both foreign invaders and local forces.
The helicopter came down and smashed into pieces, killing or wounding all those aboard. It is not yet clear how many were killed in the shoot-down.
Afghan officials told Pajhwok Afghan News that a helicopter belonging to the Ministry of Interior had a problem getting off the ground:
Mohammad Rahim Amin, the district’s administrative chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News the helicopter of the Ministry of Interior’s 303rd unit made an emergency landing in Khosh Mazar area on Tuesday night.
“A number of security personnel disembarked from helicopter before it took off. Immediately after takeoff, the chopper made a hard landing due to technical problems,” he said, adding no one was hurt.
He said the helicopter was still in the area and rescuers had arrived at the site to help the crew.
But a local tribal leader indicated that the helicopter landed near his home:
Azizuddin, a tribal elder from Shah Mazar area, claimed the helicopter landed close to his house at around 11pm last night. A heavy clash is still underway between the Taliban and security forces, he said, adding the militants did not allow the helicopter to fly.
The Taliban also declared it downed an Afghan military helicopter in the central province of Ghor on Nov. 14. Afghan officials also asserted that the helicopter crew was forced to make an emergency landing due to technical issues. Afghan officials have attempted to hide Taliban successes in shooting down its helicopters in the past. [See LWJ report, Taliban, Islamic State both claim to have shot down helicopter in central Afghanistan.]