U.S. recovers remains of 2 crew members killed in Air Force plane crash in Afghanistan
Identities have not been released, official says no indication plane was shot down
A United States defence official says they have recovered the remains of two American service members killed in Monday's crash of a U.S. Air Force plane in Afghanistan.
They were the only two people aboard the Air Force E-11A electronic surveillance aircraft when it went down in Ghazni province, the official said, speaking Tuesday on the condition of anonymity before an official announcement of the recovery. The identities of the two have not been publicly announced, pending notification of their relatives.
The official said the U.S. recovery team met no Taliban resistance in reaching the crash site and said there is no indication that the plane was downed by hostile action.
The Taliban hold much of Ghazni province. Monday's plane crash there is not expected to derail U.S.-Taliban peace talks if the crash investigation determines, as expected, that it was not the result of hostile action.
The United States and the Taliban are negotiating a reduction in hostilities or a ceasefire to allow the signing of a peace agreement that could bring home an estimated 13,000 American troops and open the way to a broader postwar deal for Afghans.
A journalist in the area, Tariq Ghazniwal, said Monday that he saw the burning aircraft. He told The Associated Press that he saw two bodies and that the front of the aircraft was badly burned, but its body and tail were hardly damaged.
The crash site is about 10 kilometres from a U.S. military base, Ghazniwal said. Local Taliban forces were deployed to protect the crash site, he said.