KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- A NATO aircraft crashed in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, but it was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties, a spokesman said. Clashes across the volatile south killed nine Afghan policemen and at least 13 suspected Taliban.
A suicide attacker also detonated a car bomb near a U.S.-led coalition convoy, wounding a coalition soldier.
The "aircraft was supporting a NATO mission. It went off the radar and crashed in an open area in Kandahar," said Maj. Scott Lundy, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force.
Lundy would not say how many people were aboard, but said "there was no indication of an enemy attack." The crash happened about 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the city of Kandahar, he said.
Lundy gave no other details. But Haji Eisamuddin, a local tribal elder, told The Associated Press by phone that the wreckage of the plane was burning in an open field, and that coalition forces had started arriving at the scene.
"I can see three-four helicopters in the sky, and coalition forces are also arriving in the area," he said.
Shortly after the crash, a purported spokesman for the Taliban, Abdul Khaliq, claimed responsibility, but it was impossible to independently verify the claim.
"We used a stringer missile to shoot down the aircraft," he said.