23 Apr 2013

Foreigners held by Taliban

5:59 am on 23 April 2013

The Taliban in Afghanistan says it seized a number of foreigners after a civilian helicopter was forced to land in Logar province, close to Pakistan.

Khorasan Cargo Airlines said seven Turks, an Afghan and two pilots were on board when it was forced to land in bad weather in the Azra district late on Sunday.

The Taliban told the BBC it had the group. The district is known to have a strong Taliban presence.

A BBC correspondent said there are an average of 100 civilian helicopter flights across Afghanistan every day.

They carry personnel and supplies to remote bases and are mostly contracted from Russian companies.

Several Turkish engineers have been kidnapped in Afghanistan in recent years, with some held for up to two years.