Algeria: At least 257 people were reportedly killed as an Algerian military plane crashed soon after takeoff in a farm field in northern Algeria on Wednesday.
The cause of the crash was unclear, and an investigation has been opened, according to a Defense Ministry statement.
Emergency services converged on the area near the Boufarik military base after the crash.
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“There are more than 100 deaths. We can’t say exactly how many at this point,” Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, quoted in a report.
He said the plane was carrying soldiers. The Defense Ministry did not provide a death toll but expressed condolences to the victims’ families.
The flight had just taken off from Boufarik, about 30km (20 miles) southwest of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria, Achour said. It was scheduled to make a layover in Tindouf in southern Algeria, home to many refugees from neighboring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco.
The Soviet-designed Il-76 military transport plane crashed in an agricultural zone with no residents, Achour said.