16:34 GMT +309 December 2019
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    In this photograph taken on October 13, 2015, Afghan Taliban militants gather around parts of a US F-16 aircraft that was struck over in Sayid Karam district of eastern Paktia province

    Taliban Capture 18 After Downing Moldovan Helicopter in Afghanistan

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    Taliban militants on Tuesday captured the crew of a Moldovan helicopter contracted by the United Nations for a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, the Moldovan Interior Ministry said.

    CHISINAU (Sputnik) — In a televised interview with Moldova’s Publika channel, Deputy Interior Ministry Oleg Balan said that some 18 people were taken hostage, including three Moldovan nationals.

    Defense Ministry’s spokeswoman Alla Diaconu underscored that the helicopter was a civil one and its pilots were not Moldovans. She said the government was to meet on Wednesday to discuss the incident.

    The helicopter went down in the northern Faryab province controlled by the Taliban. In the recent months, the province became a scene of fierce fighting between Islamist militants and troops loyal to the Afghan government in Kabul.

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