Military plane crashes in Algiers:257 reported dead

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   'NO SURVIVORS: The aircraft crashed into a golf course and caught fire in Phoenix Arizona

At least 257 people were killed on Wednesday after an Algerian military aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Boufarik military airfield outside the capital, the Defence Ministry said.

The Algeria-backed Polisario Front, which is seeking independence of the Sahara, formerly under Spanish rule, said 30 Saharans, including women and children, died in the crash.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after the crash announced three days of national mourning, adding that prayers for the dead will be held on Friday, news agency AP reported.

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The plane was heading to Tindouf, an area on Algeria's border with Western Sahara, but crashed on the airport's perimeter, Algeria's defence ministry said.

The plane was said to be headed to the western Algerian city of Bechar. It says the victims' bodies have been transported to the Algerian army's central hospital in the town of Ain Naadja for identification.

More than 200 people are believed dead after an Algerian military plane crashed near a major base.

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The explanation for the crash continues to be beneath investigation.

Witnesses who had been working in nearby fields told AFP that the plane had burst into flames before it hit the ground. In February that year an Iranian military transport aircraft carrying 276 people crashed in the south of the country, killing all on board.

"The people of South Africa share their pain and loss and extend their most honest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this tragic accident", he said. 77 people were killed. It is widely used for both commercial freight and transporting troops.

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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. There was a single survivor.

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