US fighter jet crashes near Afghan airbase
A US fighter jet crashed near a main airbase in Afghanistan. The pilot was recovered by the coalition forces, said the US-forces Afghanistan.
“A US Air Force F-16 assigned to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing crashed during take-off on March 29 around 8.30 p.m. (local time) near Bagram airfield,” US forces said in a statement.
Bagram, around 50 km north of Afghan capital Kabul, has been serving as a main US military base in Afghanistan over the past 14 years.
“The pilot safely ejected, was recovered by coalition forces, and is being evaluated by medical personnel at the Craig Joint Theatre Hospital on Bagram,” it noted.
The coalition forces are protecting the crash site. The F-16s at Bagram airfield provide 24-hour over-watch and close-air-support for ground units in Afghanistan, it said.
The Taliban militant group has claimed responsibility for shooting down the fighter jet.
“Enemy fire was not a factor in the crash, and air force officials will investigate the cause of the crash”, said in the statement. More information will be released as it becomes available, it said.
Nearly 13,000 foreign forces are currently stationed in the militancy-hit Afghanistan within the framework of the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission to help Afghan forces in the field of training and advising.