Afghanistan Cargo Plane Crash Kills 7 Crew Members

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KABUL, April 29 (Reuters) - Seven crew members of a U.S.-run cargo plane were killed on Monday when their plane crashed shortly after take off from Bagram air base near the Afghan capital Kabul, the cargo operator told Reuters.

The Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility for the crash, but NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said there were no reports of insurgent activity in or around the base, which is one of the largest in the country and located about 40 km (25 miles) north of Kabul.

"We did lose all seven crew members," a spokeswoman for National Air Cargo told Reuters by telephone from Florida, where the company is located. The nationalities of the crew members were not immediately clear.

The district governor for Bagram, Abdul Shukor, described the plane as having reached an altitude of about 400 m (1312 feet) before suddenly "falling out of the sky", he said, citing witness accounts.

The crash came two days after four U.S. service members were killed when their surveillance aircraft in southern Afghanistan crashed due to bad weather. (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman and Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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