KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghanistan's ruling Taliban said Monday they had recovered wreckage from a U.S. helicopter in Helmand province, saying it was evidence of successful resistance to the military strikes against their country. The Taliban said parts of a downed helicopter were found in Helmand province after a U.S. commando raid Saturday that publicly launched the land campaign.
Qatar's al-Jazeera television showed close-up footage of what it said the Taliban described as new aircraft wheels and a piece of metal stenciled with the English words ``Shock. Loud Engineering.'' A U.S. company, Loud Engineering & Manufacturing Inc, based in Ontario, California, makes parts for the CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
``Right now I have been informed by Amirul Monineen's office that they have discovered pieces of an American helicopter in Baba Sahib hills... some burned tires and parts and traces of blood,'' Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) quoted Maulawi Najibullah, Taliban consul in the frontier city of Peshawar, as saying. Amirul Monineen, or leader of the faithful, is the title given to reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, who the United States has vowed to push out of power for not handing over bin Laden, prime suspect behind the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.
Afghanistan's envoy to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, told a news conference in Islamabad U.S. helicopters had tried to retrieve the wreckage in Helmand but were driven off by Taliban fighters.