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12th Sep 2022

Three killed as Taliban crash US Black Hawk helicopter during training exercise

Tobi Akingbade

It not clear how many helicopters left behind by the US are working or operational

Three people have been killed and five injured after a helicopter left behind by the US in Afghanistan crashed on Saturday during a Taliban training exercise.

Enaytullah Khowrazmi, a spokesperson for the Taliban administration’s ministry of defence, said: “An American Black Hawk helicopter, which was for training, crashed due to a technical problem inside the campus of the National Defence University.”

It is not known exactly how many operational helicopters the US left in Afghanistan.

The Taliban inherited the helicopters after the US hastily withdrew their troops in August, following two decades of war.

Before they left the country, US forces damaged some military aircraft on purpose and did the same to weapons systems, choppers and armoured vehicles at the Kabul airport hangar.

Hundreds of Afghan forces had also flown military planes to central Asian nations including Tajikistan when the Taliban seized power in Kabul in mid-August.

The withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan saw scenes of chaos as thousands of Afghans desperate to leave the country thronged the Kabul airport in search of a way out before the final US cargo planes departed.

At that time, US President Joe Biden was criticised for withdrawing his troops from the warn-torn country.

In August 2021, he said in a press conference: “I stand squarely behind my decision.

“After 20 years I learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US troops.”

The President then spoke on Afghan leaders fleeing the country, saying: “American troops can not and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

About 120,000 people, including both foreign nationals and Afghan citizens, were evacuated by the US and other western nations last year.

As of July this year, it was reported that more than 74,000 Afghan applicants are still waiting for special immigrant visas to move to the US.

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