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Eleven Dead As U.S. Plane Carrying Troops Crashes In Afghanistan

A C-130 transport aircraft at Kabul international airport.
A C-130 transport aircraft at Kabul international airport.

U.S. defense officials said 11 people died, including six U.S. service members, in the crash of a military C-130 transport plane in Afghanistan.

The plane crashed at about midnight local time October 1 at Jalalabad Airport in eastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.

The Taliban claimed it shot the plane down in a statement by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Twitter. U.S. officials said they were investigating the cause of the crash.

"The crew and passengers were killed," U.S. Army Colonel Brian Tribus said, adding that five civilian contractors on the plane were among the dead.

The contractors had been working for "Resolute Support," the NATO-led training mission.

The C-130 Hercules is used extensively by the military to ship troops and heavy gear. It can take off and land on rough, dirt strips and is used by the U.S. military in hostile areas.

The United States has about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan. NATO says there are about 1,000 coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, including U.S. and Polish forces, as well as about 40,000 Afghan troops.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP