6 US service members among 11 dead in Afghan plane crash

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A C-130 transport plane crashed overnight at an air base in eastern Afghanistan, killing six U.S. airmen and five passengers, the U.S. military said Friday.

A NATO official said the crash happened around midnight Thursday at Jalalabad air field, 125 kilometers (80 miles) from the capital, Kabul.

The six U.S. service members who died comprised the plane’s crew. The passengers were civilian contractors working with NATO’s Resolute Support mission, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk to the media on the issue.

U.S. military said the cause of the crash was under investigation. A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the incident publicly, said there was no indication of hostile fire.

Few other details of the crash were available. The Taliban claimed they shot the plane out of the sky, but the group is prone to exaggeration.

There are about 1,000 coalition forces in eastern Afghanistan, including U.S. and Polish forces, as well as about 40,000 Afghan troops, according to NATO.

There are also up to 35,000 civilian contractors across the country.

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Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report from Washington.

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