Did the Taliban capture 3 US incomplete helicopters?

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Did the Taliban capture 3 US incomplete helicopters?

Report of the Taliban having captured 3 dismantled helicopters and selling them. This is an interesting behind the scenes article that may help to explain some of the recent attacks inside of Pakistan's borders.

Taliban militants in Pakistan's restive tribal belt captured three US military choppers while they were being shipped in a dismantled state from Peshawar to Jalalabad in Afghanistan and sold one of the helicopters for several hundred thousand dollars, a media report said on Wednesday.

Pakistani officials confirmed the development while the US embassy spokesperson refused to comment, saying the information "appears to be only hearsay," The News daily reported.

Some diplomats in Islamabad were aware of the Taliban operation but were not ready to speak on record. One of the hijacked helicopters had already been sold to an unidentified customer in Afghanistan, the report said.

The components of the helicopters arrived in containers at the Karachi Port and were taken by road to Peshawar. The containers then entered the tribal areas for the journey to Afghanistan.

When the containers entered the restive Khyber Agency, Taliban stopped the convoys and took away the helicopter components. Pakistani paramilitary forces tried to confront the Taliban but "suffered heavy losses due to darkness".

The incident happened in the same area where Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan Tariq Azizuddin was kidnapped in February this year.

A Chinook heavy lift chopper and a Black Hawk multi-role helicopter were captured recently while a Cobra gunship helicopter was hijacked some weeks ago.

Diplomatic sources said a recent US air strike in Pakistan's tribal areas was actually an attack on the location where the components of two helicopters were stored by the Taliban.

By netchicken: posted on 19-6-2008

More information on the topic, it may be just an unfounded rumor, or is it being suppressed?

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (June 18, 2008) Claims attributed to the Taliban in recent news reports regarding the capture of three U.S. military helicopters in Pakistan are false.

Four U.S. helicopter engines were stolen while enroute from Bagram Air Field to the U.S.

The loss was discovered earlier this spring. The collective value of the engines is 13.2 million dollars.

The shipment was a part of a routine redeployment of the 82d Airborne Division. The theft does not affect CJTF-101s mission.

This issue is currently under investigation.

By netchicken: posted on 19-6-2008

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