Taliban fighters have reportedly captured an Mi-35 attack helicopter gifted to Afghanistan military by India two years ago.
The helicopter fell into the hands of the Taliban at Kunduz airbase on Wednesday. It is an export version of Russia's Mi-24V.
Videos and photographs that surfaced on social media showed a Taliban operative moving around the aircraft at the airbase. Rotor blades, engine and several other critical components of the helicopter appear to be missing. It is being speculated that the Afghan forces removed the parts from the helicopter anticipating defeat to the Taliban forces.
India handed over a pair of these helicopters each in May 2018 and October 2019 to war-torn Afghanistan. India had delivered the first two Mi-24Vs in May 2018. They were refurbished helicopters purchased from Belarus. The four new helicopter gunships were a replacement for four attack helicopters gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015 and 2016.
The United States, Russia, China and Pakistan are currently holding extended talks to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, in Doha.