21:48 GMT17 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – An Afghan special forces' helicopter has crash-landed in the central province of Maidan Wardak, leaving nine people dead, the Defence Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

    The incident took place in the Behsud district late Wednesday, the TOLOnews broadcaster reported citing its sources. The Defence Ministry later confirmed the deaths of 9 troops in the accident.

    Further details of the incident remain unknown, as there are conflicting reports about the causes of the crash and the current situation at the site.

    The situation in the country remains tense, despite a peace deal between Washington and the Taliban, signed in February 2020. Under the agreement that seeks to end the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, the American side is supposed to withdraw its troops from the country by 1 May.

    At the same time, the Taliban vowed to prevent al-Qaeda* and other terrorist groups from establishing a safe haven in Afghanistan and also pledged to start peace talks with Kabul.

    * Al-Qaeda is a terrorist group, banned in Russia

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