Officials in Islamabad say a government helicopter crash-landed in Taliban-held territory in Afghanistan on August 4 and that all passengers and crew — including a Russian navigator — were feared to have been captured by militants.
DawnNews reported that a Punjab government Mi-17 helicopter had seven people aboard and was traveling to Uzbekistan for maintenance when it went down close to the Afghan-Pakistan border and Pakistan’s Kurram tribal area.
It reported that all seven people onboard survived the crash but were taken hostage by Taliban militants who set the helicopter on fire.
Pakistani Army General Asim Bajwa said those captured by Taliban militants included retired military officers and a Russian navigator.
Bajwa also said that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had called the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicolson, and was assured “all possible help” to recover the helicopter crew.
Afghanistan’s TOLO News reported that the helicopter belonged to Pakistan’s military.
Source : 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.