Taliban militants have released crew of Pakistani helicopter

Pakistan-helicopter-crash-AfghanistanAFGHANISTAN: The Taliban militants have released the crew of a Pakistani helicopter which crash-landed in central Logar province of Afghanistan earlier this month.

The Pakistani intelligence officials have confirmed to Radio Free Europe that the crew members were handed over to the authorities in Kurram Agency on Friday.

The officials have further added that seven people were taken hostage by the Taliban militants after the Mi-17 helicopter crash-landed in Logar province on 4th August.

According to reports, one of the hostages was a Russian national who was the pilot of the helicopter that crash-landed in Azra district.

The Pakistani authorities earlier said the helicopter belonged to Punjab government.

The Pakistani authorities said the helicopter crashed while it was flying to Russia for maintenance and seven crew members, including a Russian navigator, were taken hostage by a group of militants.

The Afghan authorities confirmed the Pakistani authorities had requested to use the Afghan airspace for the flight of the Mi-17 helicopter to Uzbekistan for repair.

A statement by Presidential Palace said the Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan only granted permission for the helicopter to use the Afghan airspace after recording the specifications of the helicopter. -KP

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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