Officials investigate plane crashes in Afghanistan, Iran

Jan. 27 (UPI) — A plane crashed in a Taliban-controlled region of central Afghanistan on Monday, officials said, but there is some mystery as to who the aircraft belonged to.

Authorities said the plane crashed near the center of Ghazni’s Dih Yak district, about 110 miles southwest of Kabul, a region held by Taliban militants. Initial reports and a government official said it was a passenger jet with 83 people that was operated by national carrier Ariana.

The government-run airline, however, swiftly denied the crash involved an Ariana flight, saying all of its planes were safe and accounted for.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether there were casualties from the crash.

Other reports indicated the downed aircraft may have been a U.S. military fighter jet.

Afghan special forces are being sent to the crash site to investigate.

Another plane also crashed in Iran on Monday — a Caspian Airlines passenger jet that skidded off a runway and crash-landed in southwestern Iran. The plane was carrying 144 people but no casualties were reported.

State-run ISNA reported the crash was caused by technical problems with the landing gear.

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