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Moldovan authorities restrict media access to talks on release of pilots in Afghanistan

December 07, 2015, 20:25 UTC+3 CHISINAU
A Moldovan helicopter contracted by the United States government was shelled in Afghanistan’s Faryab province controlled by Taliban on November 24
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A security official in a helicopter in Afghanistan (archive)

A security official in a helicopter in Afghanistan (archive)

©  EPA/JAWAD JALALI

CHISINAU, December 7. /TASS/. Moldova’s government has restricted media access to the talks on release of the pilots of a Moldovan helicopter downed by Taliban in Afghanistan for security considerations, Moldova’s acting Prime Minister George Brega said on Monday.

"If you are worried about the fate of our compatriots, you should demonstrate understanding and not demand we say more than we can," he told journalists. He pledged the Moldovan foreign ministry was "in close contact with international structures helping to free the hostages from captivity."

A spokesman for Moldova’s Valan International Cargo Charter, the owner of the downed helicopter, said media reports about the death of one of the three pilots might be untrue. The spokesman did not confirm media allegations that Taliban gunmen had demanded a bail from the Moldovan authorities.

A Moldovan helicopter contracted by the United States government was shelled in Afghanistan’s Faryab province controlled by Taliban on November 24. After sending a distress signal, the helicopter made an emergency landing. There were 21 people - 18 passengers and three crew members - onboard the rotorcraft. Afghan security officers reached the crash site to find four dead bodies. The rest were seized by Taliban gunmen. A video with the hostages was posted in the internet on the following day. Two days after, Moldova’s civil aviation authorities said referring to the United States government that a Moldovan citizen was among those killed.

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