Punjab govt helicopter crash-lands in Afghanistan, seven held hostage

Seven people were held hostage by Afghan Taliban after a Punjab government helicopter made an emergency landing due to mechanical faults in Afghanistan on Thursday.

The Russian helicopter MI-17 carrying six Pakistanis and a pilot were traveling to Uzbekistan before it made crash landing in Afghanistan.

The pilot was set on fire by the Afghan Taliban, who also held Pakistani officials hostage.

Air Marshal (retd) Abid Rao said that the government must launch diplomatic efforts to rescue Pakistani engineers captured by Afghan Taliban.

According to source, a Russian pilot was among those held hostage by the Taliban.

Sources add that the plane was being sent to Uzbekistan for overhauling.

Punjab

Meanwhile, military sources described the reports as incorrect.

“The helicopter is not ours,” a military official told The Express Tribune. He said the claim by Afghan officials that the helicopter belonged to the Pakistan Army is “not true.”

Meanwhile, Afghan Taliban spokesperson said he had no information about the incident. “We will try to get information,” Zabihullah Mujahid said when his comments were sought about the reports.

The Resolute Support Missions said the helicopter “does not appear to be a Nato aircraft.”

Afghan media has reported six people were on board and that they had been captured by insurgents.

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