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Breaking: 83 Feared Dead as Afghanistan Passenger Jet Crashes in Taliban Area

An Afghanistan plane has crashed and exploded into flames in territory controlled by the Taliban in remote and mountainous Deh Yak district, south-west of Kabul, it is reported.

Casualties are feared after the plane reportedly carrying more than 80 people crashed and burst into flames in Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan.

Local officials said a Boeing 737-400 belonging to Ariana Afghan Airlines went down in remote and mountainous Deh Yak district in eastern Ghazni province.

But the state-owned airline has said it was not operating the flight.

The fate of the passengers and crew was unknown and there were conflicting reports about the departure city and destination.

Local media said 83 people were on board when the plane went down south-west of Kabul at about 1.15pm local time on Monday.

According to reports, members of the Taliban were at the crash site and attempting to put out a fire, and Afghan special forces were on their way to the scene.

Journalist Bilal Sarwary wrote on Twitter that the plane crashed about nine miles from the centre of Deh Yak district in an area under Taliban control.

He added: “After the crash, there was a big deafening noise, Taliban now trying to put an end to the fire, TWO tribal elders in the area tells me.”

Local officials said the plane belonged to Ariana Afghan Airlines. The airline rejected those claims and said all of its planes had landed safely.

Arif Noori, a spokesman for Ghazni’s governor, told 1TV that the crash happened in Deh Yak district.

The plane crashed and caught fire due to technical reasons, he added, although Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry said the cause was not known.

Mr Noori said that a team was on its way to the site for an investigation.

Afghan special forces are being sent to the site, TOLO News reported.

Kabul-based Ariana Afghan Airlines is a government-owned carrier with a fleet of just four planes, according to its website.

It operates two Airbus A310 jets which have a capacity for up to 237 people, and two Boeing 737 planes which can carry 142 people.

The airline has had a number of fatal crashes in its history and a number of its jets were destroyed in US airstrikes just weeks after the September 11 terror attacks in the US in 2001

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