Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says the Afghan government is launching a mission to free the crew of a Pakistani helicopter that crashed inside Afghanistan while flying to Russia earlier this month.

The ministry's spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Thursday that six Pakistanis and a Russian navigator were aboard when the copper went down on Aug. 4. He said Kabul has informed Pakistan that the crew was alive and efforts are being made to rescue them through local tribal elders.

Zakaria did not say who captured the crew, but an Afghan governor has said the crew was detained by the Taliban in the area outside the government's control. According to a Pakistani Taliban leader, the crew was being held by a Pakistani Taliban commander in Afghanistan's Logar province.