İrem UZUN -TDO- A plane that crashed in Afghanistan's central Ghazni province on Monday, reportedly killing everyone on board, has been confirmed as belonging to the U.S. Air Force. The chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Gen. Dave Goldfein, confirmed to CNBC that the plane is a U.S. Air Force E-11 military airplane, built by Bombardier. The plane crashed in territory currently under Taliban control. He was unable to confirm whether the aircraft was targeted by hostile fire, nor could he confirm details about potential casualties.
According to a U.S. official, the plane had two people on board, both of whom died in the crash. The official told that the plane went down because of mechanical problems. However, spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, told that insurgents with the group shot down the plane and that it had CIA officials on board. Earlier Monday, Mujahid referred to the plane on Twitter as an "enemy intelligence aircraft" and said the bodies of the intelligence officials were still lying near the crash site in the Sado Khelo region of Ghazni.
Speaking to reporters during a Pentagon press briefing, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Monday that he was "aware of the situation" and that he had "nothing further to report at this time." U.S. Forces Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said in a statement that the cause of the crash was under investigation and that there were "no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire". Leggett added that Taliban claims of additional downed aircraft were false.