Taliban claim killing two US soldiers in helicopter crash

Two days after release of three high profile Taliban prisoners including Anas Haqqani, the Taliban have claimed responsibility for shooting down a helicopter in Afghanistan in which two US soldiers were confirmed dead.

“Two US service members were killed in a helicopter crash on November 20, 2019 in Afghanistan,” the NATO mission in Afghanistan, Resolute Support (RS) confirmed in a statement.

The RS mission which provides advice, training, and support to the Afghan defense and security forces, however, has said that preliminary reports do not indicate it was caused by the enemy fire.

The statement does not give more details where the incident happened.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, stated that the helicopter was shot down by the group’s militants in Pungram area of Charkh district of the eastern Logar province. He claimed that many foreign and Afghan forces were killed in the attack.

This comes while Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, earlier yesterday, November 19, in reaction to the release of western hostages by the Taliban, expressed hope, saying that it paves a path for peace in Afghanistan.

Before implementation of prisoner swap, President Ghani said in a televised address to the Afghan nation said that he had accepted the prisoner swap for reduction of violence in the country.

The death toll of US service members raised to 18 this year while 15 US soldiers were killed last year.

Over 2,000 US soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan since the country military invasion in October 2001 which toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan.