Published On: Tue, Apr 23rd, 2013

Taliban captures Turks, Afghan and Russians from NATO helicopter

Taliban insurgents seized an Afghan pilot and nine foreign nationals from a transport helicopter after it was forced to make an emergency landing late Sunday night in eastern Afghanistan, authorities said Tuesday.

Taliban attacking NATO troops in cartoon by Carlos Latuff

Taliban attacking NATO troops in cartoon by Carlos Latuff

The private helicopter, that was used to carry food and other items for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), was headed to Kabul from a NATO base in Khost province when it was forced to land in Azra district in neighboring Logar province, said the district’s governor, Hamidullah Hamid.

On board were seven Turkish engineers and three pilots: an Afghan and two Russians. Because it’s not always safe to travel by road in areas with heavy militant activity, engineers and others will often hitch rides in helicopters delivering supplies.

The Taliban immediately surrounded the chopper and took the nine occupants hostage.

Local officials enlisted the help of tribal elders to secure their release, Darwesh said.

The Taliban, in a text message to news outlets, said the group forced the helicopter down.

John Manley, an ISAF spokesman, would only say that a civilian aircraft went down in eastern Afghanistan and that the alliance was “assisting.”

The Turkish foreign ministry said it could not confirm the involvement of the Taliban or whether several of its citizens had been taken hostage. It said it was looking into the reports.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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