Taliban capture 13 Afghan soldiers right after helicopter crash: police

KABUL Taliban insurgents captured 13 Afghan government soldiers on Tuesday soon after their helicopter crashed in territory below the militants’ control, police said. 3 soldiers have been killed in the crash.

Sayed Aqa Saqeb, police chief for the northern province of Faryab exactly where the transport helicopter went down, mentioned it was not clear why it crashed.

Safety forces had launched an operation to rescue the guys, he mentioned.

The militants, fighting to expel foreign forces and bring down the U.S.-backed government, have created gains more than the past year outside their southern and eastern heartlands and into northern places including Faryab.

An army spokesman in northern Afghanistan mentioned he had no data about a helicopter crash.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not comment on the incident itself but denied claims on Twitter that any U.S. military personnel had been captured.

Taliban spokesmen have been not offered for comment.

(Reporting by Bashir Ansari and Mirwais Harooni, added reporting by Phil Stewart in WASHINGTON Editing by Robert Birsel and Mike Collett-White)

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