Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Over 100 feared dead after military plane crash in Algeria

Over 100 feared dead after military plane crash in Algeria

More than 250 people were killed when a military plane crashed in a field outside Algeria's capital.

"I want you to know that we are always ready to help our Algerian brothers, in case it is needed in this grave situation", President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, according to presidential sources.

At least 181 killed in the crash of a military aircraft in Algeria.

A local farmer described the moment he saw people leaping from the aircraft moments before the plane crashed at 7.50am local time on Wednesday.

It is not yet clear what caused the crash. The plane came down in an open farm field near the base, the ministry says. Algerian media outlets reported that there were five survivors, but this was not confirmed by the ministry.

"The number of martyrs has risen to 247 passengers and 10 members of the crew, most of whom are members of the army as well as their families", said the ministry statement.

The Tindouf region is home to refugees from Western Sahara and houses the administrative offices of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic declared in 1976 by the Algiers-backed Polisario Front which seeks independence for the disputed region.

The four-engine Il-76 made its maiden voyage in 1997, according to Aviation Safety Network.

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The Algerian military, which historically depended on the Soviet Union and then Russian Federation for military hardware, operates several of the planes.

That same year, an Air Algérie flight crashed in Mali while flying between Bukina Faso and Algeria, killing all 116 people on board.

The heavy loss of life of soldiers was certain to shake Algeria to the core.

Today, the army is credited with saving the nation from an insurgency by Islamist extremists in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Television footage showed crowds and emergency vehicles massing around the smoking and flaming wreckage near Boufarik airport southwest of Algiers.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Boufarik air base, between Algiers and the city of Blida.

In 2014, a Hercules C-130 carrying members of the country's air force and their families crashed in Algeria's east, killing 77 people.

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