U.S. Forces recovered the remains of two personnel from the site where a U.S. Bombardier E-11A aircraft crashed in Ghazni province on January 27, said U.S. Forces – Afghanistan in a statement.
According to the statement, the force also recovered what is assessed to be the aircraft flight data recorder. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, however there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire.
“The remains were found near the crash site, treated with dignity and respect by the local Afghan community, in accordance with their culture,” the statement added. “The U.S. forces destroyed the remnants of the aircraft.”
Pending positive identification and in accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members are being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete, the statement added.
The U.S. military has said an E-11A aircraft crashed in the province of Ghazni, but has disputed Taliban claims to have brought it down. It has not been confirmed exactly how many people may have been on board the craft.
U.S. and Afghan troops had clashed with Taliban fighters earlier on Tuesday as they tried to reach the crash site of the surveillance plane after it went down in the eastern part of the country on Monday. The Washington Post reports that roadside bombs left by the Taliban on nearby access routes, as well as bad weather, added to the difficulty.
The Taliban claimed it downed a “special American aircraft” on an intelligence mission, while the U.S. military said there was no indication the plane was hit by hostile fire. The Americans say they are reviewing flight recorders to see what might have happened, the Washington Post reports.