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Air Force Jet Crashed In Taliban-Controlled Area Of Afghanistan.

The U.S. military is investigating an Air Force jet that crashed Monday in a Taliban-controlled region of Afghanistan.

The (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2020/01/27/US-Air-Force-jet-crashes-in-Afghanistan-reports-say/2301580122906/) jet reportedly crashed in the Taliban-controlled Ghazni province , over 100 miles southwest of the capital city of Kabul. Provincial government spokesman (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-plane-crash-today-ariana-afghan-airlines-denies-ghazni-crash-casualties-deaths-2020-01-27/) Arif Noori told reporters the plane was flying somewhere between the cities of Kabul and Kandahar. It was later identified by U.S. military officials as an Air Force Bombardier E-11A, a military version of the Bombardier Global Express civilian business jet. The two people aboard were both killed.

Poor weather had reportedly limited their ability to investigate the crash site and wreckage. A U.S. official (https://www.npr.org/2020/01/27/799967351/u-s-plane-goes-down-in-afghanistan-prompting-wave-of-questions-contradictions?utm_term=nprnews&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_source=twitter.com) told NPR that the plane crashed due to mechanical problems.

Alleged images of the crashed jet emerged online shortly after it was found, with the (https://www.foxnews.com/world/us-military-plane-crashes-in-afghanistan) Taliban claiming responsibility for downing it . These claims were quickly countered by U.S. officials, who said there was no sign the plane had been shot down.

An Afghan official said the bodies of the two pilots were found in the wreckage, though U.S. officials have not confirmed any reports regarding the fate of the crew. No other casualties were mentioned.

The jet was reportedly used as a flying communications hub and regularly flew out of Kandahar Airfield with (https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1698903/bacn-improves-communication-for-deployed-troops/) "Battlefield Airborne Communications Node."   The "Node" serves as a communication and Wi-Fi hub to prevent possible communication failures between troops in the field and command. It was developed in 2005 following the failure of Operation Red Wings, which was later recounted by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's book-turned-film, "Lone Survivor."

Early reports said the crashed plane belonged to Afghan Ariana Airlines and had been carrying 83 people on board. However, the airline was quick to deny the reports and said no flights had been scheduled to be flying around that region at the time of the crash. The airline added that all planes were safe and accounted for on Monday.

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Author:Kevin Billings
Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jan 28, 2020
Words:381
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