Afghan Taliban hold Turks after helicopter lands


Taliban insurgents have seized eight Turks and an Afghan from a civilian helicopter which made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

The incident happened after the Turkish helicopter landed on Sunday evening, said Rais Khan Sadeq, deputy police chief of Logar province, south of Kabul.

“Security forces found the helicopter but the nine people were not in it. They are taken by the Taliban,” Sadeq said.

Provincial spokesman Din Mohammad Darvish also said eight Turks and an Afghan had been detained.

Hamidullah Hamid, governor of Azra district where the helicopter came down, said it had departed from the eastern city of Khost and was heading for Kabul.

Hamid said it belonged to a Turkish company which has a major project in Khost but gave no details.

A local official who declined to be identified said tribal chiefs are trying to secure their return.

The Turkish embassy in Kabul could not be reached for comment.

The US-led International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said the force had assisted a search by Afghan authorities for a helicopter but gave no details.

A spokesman confirmed it was a civilian helicopter and not part of ISAF.