Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Cargo plane crashes in Afghanistan

An IL-76 cargo plane(file photo)
A cargo plane has crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least nine crew members and causing a major fire on a mountain top.

The aircraft hit a mountain peak some 50 km north of the Afghan capital of Kabul late Tuesday.

Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, has claimed responsibility for the incident, a Press TV correspondent reported. However, it is still not clear what caused the crash.

Sayed Aleem Agha, a top official in Sayagred district of Parwan province, said the plane's crew members were feared dead but that rescue workers had not yet reached the crash site.

"I saw a huge fire as a result of the crash,'' said Agha. "My guess is that it was a big cargo plane because the fire lasted for a long time.''

Transport and interior ministry officials said the plane was chartered by NATO's International Security Assistance Force but a spokesman for the military alliance said it was not yet clear who was running the flight.

However, according to the Press TV sources, the coalition's cargo plane belonged to Azerbaijan and the nine killed in the incident were Azerbaijani crew members.

An airport official also confirmed that the aircraft was an IL-76 cargo plane.