A mystery plane crashed Monday in Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, south of the capital, Afghan officials said. It was not immediately clear how many people were on board the plane. Ariana Afghan Airlines denied reports that it was one of its passenger jets that had come down.
Provincial government spokesman Arif Noori told CBS News’ Ahmad Mukhtar the plane appeared to have been a flight between the southern city of Kandahar and the capital Kabul, about 200 miles to the north. Ghazni province is between those two locations.
Noori said the body of two pilots was found at the crash site and that the plane was completely destroyed. He did not mention any other casualties. Noori said it did not belong to an Afghan carrier, but could not confirmed who was operating the aircraft.
Later, some experts reported that it was probably E-11A aircraft assigned to 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron. Wreck of a plane crashed today in Afghanistan looks like to be a U.S. Air Force Bombardier Global 6000 / E-11A “BACN” (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node).
The cause of the crash remains unclear, and no details about casualties have been given.
Also in social media was released short footage that showed wreck of a plane with U.S. Air Forces emblem.
— Intel Air & Sea (@air_intel) January 27, 2020
E-11A is the military variant of the civil Bombardier BD-700 Global Express for use as overhead communications-relay platform in SW Asia. It carries Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, allowing disparate battlefield communications systems to share data. BACN was deployed on a test Bombardier BD-700 & originally designated RC-700A under reconnaissance classification. Re-designated E-11A under special electronics installation category.
The Taliban said it had shot down a U.S. military plane in the central Afghan province of Ghazni, killing all personnel on board.
“The plane, which was on an intelligence mission, was brought down in Sado Khel area of Deh Yak district of Ghazni province,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement, adding that everyone on board, including high ranking officers, had been killed.