March 25, 2019
Latest News

At least 257 people dead in Algerian military plane crash

Algiers, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- At least 257 people were killed on Wednesday after an Algerian military transport aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Boufarik military airfield outside the capital Algiers, an official from the country's Civil Defense told EFE.

According to Algerian state news service APS, black smoke could be seen billowing from the wreckage as far away as Algiers, and unverified images posted on social media showed emergency services at the scene of the accident, approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of the capital.

The majority of the victims were military, comprising 247 passengers and 10 crew members, all of whom were killed when the Soviet-manufactured Ilyushin aircraft went down en route to the far south-east of the country.

Officials from Western Sahara told EFE that 30 citizens of that country were also on board the flight.

The Western Saharan sources said the victims were students and people who had traveled to carry out medical and bureaucratic procedures in Algiers, and who regularly have places in this type of Algerian military aircraft.

However, local media in Algeria reported that the Western Saharans killed were members of Polisario, a national liberation movement which controls the east of the country.

Western Sahara is a disputed territory just south of Morocco that Rabat considers to be an integral part of the country.

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