Plane crashes in central Afghan province, details unclear

KABUL: A plane crashed in Ghazni, central Afghanistan on Monday, three senior government officials said, but details remained unclear as authorities sought to locate the aircraft's wreckage in the mountainous province, which is partly controlled by the Taliban.

The three government officials said the plane was operated by Afghanistan's state-owned airline Ariana Afghan Airlines, but its acting CEO Mirwais Mirzakwal denied those reports.

"There has been an airline crash but it does not belong to Ariana because the two flights managed by Ariana today from Herat to Kabul and Herat to Delhi are safe," Mirzakwal told Reuters.

A senior official in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's office in Kabul said that a plane had crashed near Ghazni province and authorities were still seeking details.

Before Mirzakwal's denial, Arif Noori, a spokesman for the provincial governor's office in Ghazni city, had said: "A Boeing plane belonging to the Ariana Afghan Airlines, has crashed in the Sado Khel area of Deh Yak district of Ghazni province around 1:10 p.m. local time (0840 GMT)."

Reuters was not immediately able to contact Noori again.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the group was checking on reports of the plane crash.