11 dead after C-130 aircraft crashes in Afghanistan

A C-130 aircraft crashed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan Thursday night, killing 11 people, including six US service members.

“The crew and passengers were killed,” US Army Colonel Brian Tribus said.

The Taliban claimed it shot the Hercules aircraft down, according to Agence France-Presse.

A C-130 aircraft crashed in Jalalabad, Afghanistan Thursday night, killing 11 people, including six US service members.

“It was a serious crash,” a defense official told to press. Earlier reports said there were 12 2031dead.

The official could not confirm which branch of the U.S. military – the Air Force or Marine Corps – was flying the C-130.

There was no immediate determination of what caused the crash.

There are about 1,000 coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, including U.S. and Polish forces as well as about 40,000 Afghan troops, according to NATO.

The U.S. has about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan, although the numbers are expected to decrease by the end of the year.

“Our mujahideen have shot down a four-engine US aircraft in Jalalabad,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter. “Based on credible information 15 invading forces and a number of puppet troops were killed.”

US officials said only that there were no reports of enemy fire at the time and that the incident at about midnight local time on Thursday (1930 GMT) was under investigation.

A statement from the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram airfield described it as “an accident,” without offering details.

The number of US deaths in Afghanistan has fallen sharply after the United States wrapped up its formal combat mission last year, although US special forces and aircraft were involved in this week’s counter-offensive in Kunduz.

In 2011, Taliban militants shot down a U.S. military Chinook helicopter, killing all 38 people on board.