The Taliban has claimed responsibility for gunning down a U.S. military C-130 transport plane that a United States defense said crashed as it arrived in Afghanistan, killing at least 11 to 14 people, six of them Americans.
The French news agency said it has not yet confirmed the claim from the Taliban, while sources from the Pentagon ruled out the possibility the C-130 was shot down.
But on Twitter, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, "Our mujahideen have shot down a four-engine U.S. aircraft in Jalalabad.," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter. "Based on credible information 15 invading forces and a number of puppet troops were killed."
According to AFP, the Taliban are known to make exaggerated battlefield claims, and NATO has not yet given details on the causes of the accident.
#BREAKING C-130 plane crashes at Afghanistan's Jalalabad airport, US defense official says— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) October 1, 2015
There's like one Taliban dude in Karachi who's job it is to say to AFP 'yeah that was us' every time his 'plane crash' google alert goes off— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) October 2, 2015
RT cited sources from the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield, which is the largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan in the Parwan Province, describing the crash as “an accident.”
Other sources said the official cause of the C-130 crash had not been determined, but officials said that there had been no reports of enemy fire at the time of the accident.
NBC reported that the plane crash claimed the lives of 12 people, including five U.S. servicemen, five contractors, and two Afghan civilians, while ABC has reported 14 dead.
The names of those killed have not been released, because the U.S. Defense Department does not publicly identify fatalities until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified, according to the Air Force Times.
The transport plane was assigned to the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, part of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, a news release by the U.S. Defense Department said.
First responders are still on the scene and the cause of the crash is under investigation, Air Force Times added.
A coalition spokesperson, U.S, Army Col. Brian Tribus, said the plane crashed shortly after midnight local time.
He told NBC News the, "Cause of the crash and status of crew and others onboard remains unknown. We are gathering more information and will release as appropriate."
The C.130 is a four-engine turboprop aircraft that is usually used to transport personnel and cargo. The aircraft is the most modern version of personnel and cargo transport aircraft and is equipped with sophisticated navigational equipment. It is capable of landing on short runways, allowing for touch down in remote areas.
Washington has an agreement with Kabul for 9,800 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan for the Resolute Support mission up until the end of September. In March it was agreed that the number of troops would be dropped to 5,500 for the rest of 2015 and most of next year.
The Resolute Support operation was launched Jan. 1, 2015, replacing the NATO-led forces after 12 years in the country. The mission officially expired Wednesday and involved a total of 13,223 troops from 40 contributing nations.
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