- Taliban confirmed that military helicopter crashed in training flight in Kandahar
- The crash was due to technical problems and 2 pilots were injured, Tolo News reported
- One of the pilots is in stable condition, another pilot is in critical condition
The Taliban has confirmed that a military helicopter, MD-530 provided with surveillance cameras and machine guns crashed in a training flight in the southern province of Kandahar.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, Inayatullah Khwarazmi on Wednesday said the crash was due to technical problems and two pilots were injured, reported Tolo News.
"The helicopter crashed and is destroyed. Our pilots are injured but we don't have fatalities. One of the pilots is in stable condition, another pilot is in critical condition," he said.
Earlier, a video of the crash was making the rounds on social media. Some social media users said that the helicopter was evacuating people stuck in the flood in the Maiwan district of Kandahar, reported Tolo News. The cost of an MD-530 helicopter is nearly one million dollars. Military veterans called on the Islamic Emirate to appoint former pilots and maintenance people to operate the aircraft.
"The improper use of this equipment is a crime, in fact. We as a country may not be able to purchase the current equipment due to financial problems," said Hekmatullah Hekmat, a military veteran.
"If the military equipment is used by inexperienced people, it (equipment) will be destroyed," said Sadeq Shinwari, a military analyst, reported Tolo News.
Back in August, reports had emerged that the Taliban was supplying a huge quantity of American weapons captured by it from the Afghan Army to Pakistan. The US weapons- which were seized by the Taliban after American troops withdrawal- are being openly sold in shops by Afghan gun dealers who paid government soldiers and Taliban members for guns and ammunition, The New York Times reported.
Under a US training and assistance programme- that had cost American taxpayers more than USD 83 billion through two decades of war- the equipment was originally provided to the Afghan security forces, the report had said.
After the US troops left Afghanistan, the Taliban amassed a large number of weapons. Pentagon officials earlier had pointed out that advanced weaponry was disabled before troops left, but thousands of weapons were still available for the Taliban, according to the NYT report.
(With ANI inputs)