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Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

Algeria: military plane crash results in 257 dead, including 26 members of the Polisario Front

At least 257 people died today in a military plane crash in northern Algeria on its way to southern Algeria, for a layover in Tindouf, before heading on to a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria.

State media are confirming that the incident occurred soon after takeoff with the plane going down in a farm field near the Boufarik military base about 20 miles southwest of the capital Algiers, near the Mediterranean Sea.

Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, spoke to the press, saying that “There are more than 100 deaths. We can’t say exactly how many at this point.”

A total of 257 people were killed, most of them military, according to an update at the ministry.

The Soviet-designed II-76 military plane came down on an area with no residents, Achour added. Dozens of firefighters, rescue workers and military officials worked around the blackened fuselage of the aircraft, which had been ripped open near its wings.

The cause of the crash was unknown.

The Algerian Defense Ministry has opened an investigation.

“After taking off, with the plane at a height of 150 meters I saw the fire on its wing. The pilot avoided crashing on the road when he changed the flight path to the field,” Abd El Karim, a witness, told the private Ennahar TV station. Another witness said: “We saw bodies burned. It is a real disaster.”

A member of Algeria’s ruling FLN party told Ennahar the dead included 26 members of the Polisario Front, an Algerian-backed group fighting for the independence of neighbouring Western Sahara, a territory also claimed by Morocco in a long-running dispute.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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