Illyushin 76 Down near Kabul
A cargo plane which crashed into mountains in eastern Afghanistan was carrying logistics staff to US forces, an Afghan official says.
The Russian-made Illyushin 76 disappeared from airport radar screens late Tuesday and crashed 25 kilometres northwest of Kabul's airport, said airport official Yaqub Rasoli.
The plane departed from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and was on its way to Bagram, the main US military base in Afghanistan, which is located north of the capital, Rasoli said.
"All nine crew members aboard the plane may have been killed in the crash," Rasoli said, adding that they were all believed to be Azerbaijani nationals.
Major James Low with the US military's Transportation Command, which chartered the plane, said no US citizens were on board and no ground fire was reported at the time of the crash.
A senior interior ministry official told Agence France-Presse initial reports indicated that the plane had eight crew members but investigations were ongoing. Their nationalities were also unclear.
Transport ministry spokesman Nangyalai Qalatwal confirmed the crash in the Shakar Dara mountains, about 70 kilometres north of the capital Kabul, and said it was chartered by the military.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, with no adverse weather or reports of fighting in the area overnight.
ISAF spokesman Major Tim James said the crash site was at an altitude of 12,500 feet (3800 metres), which could complicate rescue and recovery attempts.
In October, a similar cargo plane flying for US-led coalition forces crashed on the outskirts of Kabul, killing the six Filipinos, one Indian and one Kenyan on board.