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Pakistan Seeks Return Of Helicopter Passengers Captured By Taliban

An MI-17 helicopter flies by an armored personnel carrier in Kazakhstan (file photo).

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says his government is using "formal and informal channels" to seek the return of seven passengers of a crashed Pakistani helicopter who were captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Sharif made the comments in an August 5 statement, after the Pakistani government aircraft crash-landed the day before in the eastern Afghan province of Logar.

Provincial officials and an unidentified Afghan Taliban commander said all seven people onboard -- reportedly six retired Pakistani military officers and a Russian navigator -- were detained by the militants.

Pakistan's army chief, General Raheel Sharif, called Afghanistan’s president to request his country's help.

"Afghan President Ashraf Ghani assured all possible assistance in this regard," a Pakistani military spokesman said.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said the government had instructed security forces to "spare no efforts to secure the release of the crew members."

Islamabad said the Mi-17 transport helicopter was on its way to Russia for maintenance.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and