The Taliban is claiming it “brought down” a US military jet carrying high-ranking officials who were on a spy mission over Afghanistan.
Video has emerged purporting to show the charred fuselage of the Bombardier E-11 A aircraft in a snowy mountainous area of central Afghanistan, as the insurgent group claimed responsibility for the crash.
But the US has contradicted the Taliban’s version of events.
US officials, who wished to remain anonymous, told AAP there were no indications so far the plane was brought down by enemy activity.
One of the officials said there were believed to be fewer than 10 people on board.
Senior Afghan officials said authorities had rushed local personnel to locate and identify the wreckage, in a mountainous area partly controlled by the Taliban.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group had brought down the aircraft.
“The plane which was on an intelligence mission, was brought down in Sado Khel area of Deh Yak district of Ghazni province,” he said in a statement.
Mujahid did not say how fighters had brought the plane down. He said the crew on board included high-ranking US officers.
A senior defence official denied that senior American officers were involved.
The Taliban control large parts of Ghazni province. The militant group, which has been waging a war against US-led forces since 2001, often exaggerates enemy casualty figures.
Civilian airline Ariana Afghan Airlines denied initial reports it was the owner of the plane.
“It does not belong to Ariana because the two flights managed by Ariana today, from Herat to Kabul and Herat to Delhi, are safe,” acting chief Mirwais Mirzakwal said.