Friday, May 15, 2009

British fighter jet crashes in southern Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - A British Harrier fighter jet crashed in southern Afghanistan Thursday, injuring the pilot, NATO said.

The alliance said in a statement that the aircraft had made an emergency landing at Kandahar Airfield in the south of the country. The pilot ejected and was believed to have suffered only minor injuries. There were no other casualties.

"The exact cause of the incident is not yet known, however there is currently no suggestion that the incident was caused by enemy action," the alliance said in a statement.

Earlier a spokesman blamed mechanical failure for the crash, which he said had taken place shortly after takeoff.

Royal Air Force has had BAE Harrier GR7 aircraft deployed in Afghanistan since 2006, adding more advanced Harrier GR9s in early 2007.


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