Bloomberg News

Afghan Insurgents Kidnap Turkish Citizens After Helicopter Crash

April 22, 2013

Afghan insurgents kidnapped nine people including eight Turkish nationals after their helicopter crashed near the border with Pakistan in the country’s east, a government official said.

One Afghan citizen was also captured when the helicopter made an emergency landing in the Azra district of Logar province yesterday, Azra Governor Hamidullah Hamid said by phone. The British Broadcasting Corporation said the Taliban was responsible, citing members of the group it didn’t name.

The helicopter belonged to a private Afghan company and not the military, Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said. The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force is helping investigate the crash, spokesman Bryan Gatewood said.

President Barack Obama has said that a bulk of the 66,000 U.S. forces now in Afghanistan will return home by the end of 2014, after which a smaller number of troops may continue to train and advise Afghan forces as well as carry out counter- terrorism operations. While he hasn’t yet said how many U.S. troops will remain after 2014, the U.S. has indicated that about 8,000 to 12,000 allied troops are likely to stay.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at

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