Taliban releases video, claiming helicopter crash

2015-05-10 16:07
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Islamabad - A militant video purports to show Taliban fighters with a surface-to-air missile, claiming they used a similar one to shoot down a Pakistani helicopter carrying diplomats.

The video, obtained by AP, includes a message from the Pakistani Taliban claiming they fired a missile from a distance of 3km to down the helicopter on Friday.

"The missile hit the tail rotor," a written message in Urdu says at the video's start.

The crash killed the ambassadors to Pakistan from the Philippines and Norway and the wives of the ambassadors from Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as three Pakistani crew. Twelve passengers, many of them diplomats, were injured.

Taliban attack

Pakistan said earlier that a technical failure had caused the crash and dismissed an earlier Taliban claim as opportunistic.

However, the surface-to-air missile shown in the video appeared real. In the video, a masked militant discusses the missile's parts, while another portion shows what appears to be a hand-drawn picture of how a missile can strike a helicopter's tail rotor.

Pakistani security forces have been battling militants in the country's northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan for the past several years. That fighting took on a new urgency after a Taliban attack in December on a military school killed 150 people, many of them children.

The helicopter's crash site in Naltar is several hundred kilometers from the North Waziristan tribal area, where fighting recently has been focused.

Read more on:    pakistan  |  aviation

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