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US Air Force E-11A aircraft crashes in Ghazni province, Afghanistan

A U.S. Air Force markings crashed in a Taliban-held area of Afghanistan on Monday, with an unknown number of casualties.

The E-11A crashed in Ghazni province on Monday afternoon, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein said at an event in Washington. Initial reports had said the aircraft was passenger jet used by Afghanistan’s Ariana airlines but the company said all its planes were accounted for.

Goldfein said he had no further details on the crash.

U.S. Forces – Afghanistan spokesperson Colonel Sonny Leggett later said there were no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire, and said the incident was under investigation.

The plane crashed around 1:10 p.m. in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni, AFP reported the provincial governor’s spokesperson, Aref Noori, as saying.

The E-11A is a military variant of the Bombardier BD-700 Global Express used by the U.S. Air Force and is configured with Northrop Grumman’s Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) relay and gateway system. The U.S. had four E-11As assigned to Kandahar Airfield.

It’s unclear the extent of any casualties and the U.S.-led NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

U.S. Central Command said it was “aware of the reports of a U.S. aircraft crash in Afghanistan” and was monitoring the situation.

In a statement, the Taliban said they were responsible for the downing of the plane, which they said was on a reconnaissance mission. Afghan officials have said recovering the plane and its occupants would be delayed due to the security situation and the weather in Ghazni, which is partially controlled by the Taliban.

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