Azerbaijan sends note to Afghan authorities

Mon 11 July 2011 05:45 GMT | 10:45 Local Time

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Dashgin Shikarov

Azerbaijan has officially sent a note to the Afghan authorities for assistance in the delivery of the dead bodies of the crew members of the plane.

'Azerbaijan has officially sent a note to the Afghan Foreign Ministry with a request to deliver the dead bodies in Kabul for their onward delivery to the members of the Azerbaijani commission established to determine the reasons of the crash,' Azerbaijani ambassador to Pakistan and Afghanistan Dashgin Shikarov said.

Later, the dead bodies can be delivered to Baku.

According to the ambassador, the members of the commission, who went to find out the causes of the crash of the Azerbaijani plane in Afghanistan, have not been able to get to the scene because of the complicated situation at the crash territory.

'Despite that the coalition forces have allocated about 300 soldiers to accompany the members of the Azerbaijani commission, which includes representatives of the Civil Aviation Administration of Azerbaijan and specialists of Silk Way Company, which owned the plane, the commission still has not got to the crash site because of anti-terrorist operations carried out there,' he said.

One employee of the embassy in Pakistan has been sent to Kabul to coordinate search operations with local authorities.

'Afghan Foreign Ministry is concerned about the situation, but because of the fact that the plane crash territory is not controlled by the authorities, they can not help in the search operation,' the diplomat said earlier.

Five members of the nine-person crew on the "Azerbaijan Airlines"cargo aircraft were Azerbaijani citizens. The other victims were Uzbekcitizens, the ambassador said. All crew members of the "AzerbaijanAirlines" cargo aircraft were killed.

Nine crew members and a total of 18 tons of cargo were on board the plane en route from Baku to Bagram. The plane picked up its cargo at the Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport and took off at 21:26 (local time).

The plane with a carrying capacity of 40 tons was built in 2005 and passed a full inspection in February 2011. It passed the subsequent inspection in June 2011.

An Azerbaijani commission to investigate the causes of the Azerbaijani plane crash in Afghanistan has stated that one of the priority versions of the plane crash is that ‘Taliban shot down it’.

"The version that Taliban shot down the Azerbaijani cargo plane in Afghanistan is one of the priorities," Deputy Director General of Azerbaijan Airlines Ilham Amirov said at a news conference.

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