The Taliban announced on Monday that two people died and four others were rescued following the crash of a private Russian jet carrying six over the weekend in Afghanistan.
A plane crashed on Saturday in a mountainous area in Badakhshan province, some 250 kilometres northeast of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. Rescue teams were dispatched to the remote rural area that is home to only several thousand people.
On Monday, the chief Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, posted videos on X, previously known as Twitter, showing the four rescued crew members. He said they were given first aid and were being transferred from Badakhshan to Kabul. He added that the survivors were in good health.
Local authorities in Badakhshan said the bodies of the two killed in the crash will be recovered from the site. The Taliban have not identified any of the six victims of the crash. The Taliban’s Transportation and Civil Aviation Ministry said in an online statement the plane was found in the district of Kuf Ab district, near the Aruz Koh mountain.
On Sunday, Abdul Wahid Rayan, a spokesman for the Taliban’s Information and Culture Ministry, blamed an “engine problem” for the crash, without elaborating.
In Moscow, Russian civil aviation authorities said a 1978 Dassault Falcon 10 went missing with four crew members and two passengers. The Russian-registered aircraft “stopped communicating and disappeared from radar screens,” authorities said. It described the flight as starting from Thailand’s U-Tapao–Rayong–Pattaya International Airport.
The plane had been operating as a charter ambulance flight on a route from Gaya, India, to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and on to Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow.
Russian officials said the plane belongs to Athletic Group LLC and a private individual. The owners of the group would not be reached for comment.
The plane had been with a medical evacuation company based in Morocco. However, a man who answered a telephone number associated with the company Sunday said it was no longer in business and the aircraft now belonged to someone else.
International carriers have largely avoided Afghanistan since the Taliban’s 2021 takeover of the country. Those that briefly fly over rush through Afghan airspace while over the sparsely populated Wakhan Corridor in Badakhshan province, a narrow panhandle that juts out of the east of the country between Tajikistan and Pakistan.