Sudan military plane crashes, all five crew killed: Army

  • AFP, Khartoum
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2016 21:42 IST

A Sudanese military plane crashed on Saturday in the state of North Kordofan, killing all five crew members on board, the army said.

The Soviet-era Antonov 26, usually used in operations against rebels, crashed while landing at the airport in El Obied, the capital of North Kordofan, an army statement said.

“The aircraft has been destroyed and all five crew members martyred,” it said. Three army officers and two soldiers were on board.

The army said the crash was caused by “technical problems”.

Pictures posted on social media networks such as Facebook showed thick black smoke billowing from the crash site.

The air force fleet of Russian-made planes and helicopters has suffered a number of losses in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems.

In June 2013, two air force crew died when their helicopter crashed in war-torn Blue Nile state, just a week after another went down in conflict-plagued South Kordofan.

The military relies heavily on air power in its campaign against the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) as well as in fighting rebels in war-torn Darfur in the far west.

SPLM-N insurgents in Blue Nile and South Kordofan have been fighting President Omar al-Bashir’s Arab-dominated Khartoum government since 2011.

Rebels often claim to have shot down military aircraft in these regions.

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