WASHINGTON: A US F-16 warplane crashed while taking off from Bagram airfield in Afghanistan, an official said. The pilot ejected safely. Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the fighter from the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing crashed around 8:30 pm (1630 GMT). "Coalition forces are securing the crash site. The cause of this accident will be investigated," Cook said. The Taliban said their fighters shot down the jet, claiming that all on board had been killed. The insurgent group is well known for exaggerating battlefield claims.–AFP