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At Least 257 Died in Military Plane Crash in Northern Algeria

At Least 257 Died in Military Plane Crash in Northern Algeria

Algerian state radio says that more than 100 people were killed in a military plane crash southwest of the capital.

The Polisario Front said 30 of its members, including women and children, died in the crash.

Algerian authorities are examining exactly why the giant Ilyushin military transporter crashed shortly after takeoff from Boufarik Air Force base.

Mohammed Achour, the chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, said the Russian-designed Il-76 military transport plane had been carrying soldiers.

The cause for the crash is yet not found and investigation has been started to find out the cause.

The death toll of an Algerian military plane that crashed early on Wednesday in the military airport of Boufarik, 30 km south of Algiers, has risen to 257, local media reported. Ten crew members were also killed.

The plane had been heading to Tindouf on the border with Western Sahara, Algeria's defence ministry said.




"Last night the world took James Pedroza from us in a plane crash", a message on his Instagram page said Tuesday. Victims' bodies have been transported to the Algerian army's central hospital to be identified. Algerian TV Dzair said five people were in a critical state, but it's unclear whether they were inside the plane when it crashed.

He offered condolences to the victims' families, calling the crash a "grave, heart-breaking calamity".

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has decreed a three-day national mourning, according to a statement from the President's Office. The plane has been in production since the 1970s, and is widely used for both commercial freight and military transport.

The plane had just taken off from Boufarik and was heading south to a military base in Béchar. Bad weather was blamed for that crash.

Several newspapers praised the pilot, Smail Doucene, citing witnesses who said he had managed to steer the plane away from nearby homes.

An Air Algerie passenger plane flying from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed in northern Mali in July 2014, killing all 116 people on board including 54 French nationals.

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