On November 24, the Taliban claimed that it shot down a helicopter of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) over the southern province of Kandahar. The helicopter was allegedly targeted by the Afghan group’s fighter while it was transporting troops to a besieged military base in the district of Maruf.
“The helicopter was immediately shot down, it burned killing and wounding all puppets [Afghan government forces personnel] inside, other enemy helicopters were forced to flee,” the Taliban news agency, Voice of Jihad, said in a short press release.
Contrary to the Taliban’s claims, Kandahar police chief, Tadin Khan, said that the helicopter “made an emergency landing” in Maruf. Later, a spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan, Jawed Ghafoor, acknowledged that two military personnel who were aboard the helicopter were killed in the incident.
Afghan sources said that the helicopter was likely a Russian-made Mi-17. The AAF operates more than 50 Mi-8\17 helicopters in its “Special Mission Wing.” These helicopters are mainly used to support the special operations of the ANA Commandos.
The AAF lost several helicopters since the beginning of this year. During October, a helicopter crashed in the western province of Farah killing 25 people aboard. A month before, two helicopters were allegedly downed by the Taliban in the eastern province of Parwan and Farah.