Kabul, Jan 29 (IANS) US forces have recovered the remains of two people at the site of a military plane crash in eastern Afghanistan.
In a communique, the US military mission in Afghanistan also reported that the flight data recorder, or “black box,” from the US aircraft had also been recovered at the crash site in Ghazni province.
US forces on Tuesday said that the remains of the two US crewmembers who died when the plane went down were treated with “dignity and respect” by local residents, adding that – as per Defense Department policy – the identities of the dead are being withheld until their families have been informed.
After the recovery of the bodies and the black box, US forces destroyed the remains of the aircraft, an E-11A electronics surveillance plane, authorities said in their communique.
The document also emphasized that the cause of the accident is under investigation and reiterated that there is no indication that the accident was caused by “enemy fire,” a reference to the claim of responsibility made on Monday by the Taliban, who said that they had shot down the plane, Efe news reported.
The Taliban claim came after Afghan authorities said that the aircraft was a commercial jet owned by a local airline, Ariana, although that hypothesis was quickly dispensed with when the company denied it as images from the crash site became public and they showed that it was a US military plane, a fact that ultimately was confirmed by the United States.
Afghanistan has been mired in a bloody war since 2001, when a military coalition led by the US toppled the Taliban regime, which since then has been fighting to regain control of the country, where they currently hold widespread sway.
The aircraft went down about 1:30 p.m. on Monday.
Arif Noori, a spokesperson for the Ghazni governor, had told Efe on Monday that “The plane burned after it crashed … None (on board) survived,” adding that local residents had pulled the bodies of two pilots from the wreckage.