Pakistan helicopter crash-lands in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD / PULI ALAM, AFGHANISTAN: A Punjab government helicopter crash-landed in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, their embassy in Kabul said, with local authorities saying all six people on board were taken hostage by the Taliban.

“An Mi-17 transport helicopter belonging to the Punjab government was scheduled to fly to Russia for repair. We think the same chopper crash-landed in Logar,” said Pakistani embassy spokesman Akhtar Munir.

“We don’t know anything about the fate of those on-board or why it crash-landed.”

The local district governor Hamidullah Hamid said six people on board had been taken hostage by Taliban insurgents. “They have been taken to an unknown location,” he said.

The helicopter caught fire after it crashed, said Logar governor’s spokesman Salim Saleh.

Additional Chief Secretary Shumail Ahmad Khawaja stated that the helicopter was sent for over hauling. Punjab government, in this regard approached federal government and further information had been gathered for investigation, he added.

According to the details, Helicopter flew at 8:45 a.m from Peshawar and was scheduled to reach Uzbekistan’s city Bukhara. Helicopter’s tail number was APBDGF. Foreign Office (FO) stated that Afghan authorities permitted the helicopter to fly through Afghan territory.

Chief Pilot Colonel (retd) Safdar, Co-pilot Colonel (retd) Shafiq, Major (retd) Safdar, Engineer Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Nasir, Hawaladar Kausar, Daud and one Russian national.

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