Sudanese military plane crashes, 16 killed

CAIRO (AP) — A Sudanese military plane crashed in the western Darfour region on Thursday night, killing all 16 people on board, including two women and two children, the military said. A Sudanese employee of the World Food Programme (WFP) and his family were among the casualties.

Several officers were also among those killed when the plane went down in the restless region of West Darfour, which has recently witnessed deadly ethnic clashes.

Abeer Atefa, the WFP spokeswoman for the Mideast and North Africa, told The Associated Press (AP) yesterday that one of the organisation’s Sudanese employees who was on board with his wife and two children, was killed in the crash.

The plane, a Russian Antonov An-12, crashed five minutes after taking off from the airport in the town of Genena, according to an army spokesman, Brigadier General Amer Mohammed al-Hassan, who posted a statement late on Thursday on the official Facebook page of the Sudanese armed forces.

An investigation was underway to determine the cause of the crash, though there were no immediate reports of foul play. Al-Hassan said the casualties included seven troops, three judges and six civilians.

The town of Genena has recently witnessed clashes between Arabs and non-Arabs that killed at least three dozen people, including women and children, according to a health official and a local aid group who spoke to the AP earlier this week.