257 people die in Algerian plane crash

At Least 100 Killed as Military Plane Crashes in Algeria

An Algerian military plane crashed near an airport outside the capital Algiers, killing more than 100 people on board, local media reported.

The Polisario Front, which is seeking independence for the territory and is backed by Algeria, says 30 Western Saharans, including women and children, died.

Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaid Salah extended condolences to the families of the victims and ordered an investigation into the crash.

A total of 257 people were killed, a lot of them military, the defense ministry said.

In July 2014 an Air Algerie passenger plane flying from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed in northern Mali, killing all 116 people on board including 54 French nationals.

According to a military source quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP), the aircraft involved was "a Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76, capable of carrying about 120 passengers".

The plane was supposed to go from Boufarik to Tindouf, and then on to Bashar, which are both towns on the Algerian-Morocco border, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

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TV footage showed 14 ambulances at the scene transferring the injured to hospital and smoke from a wreckage in the field.

The plane was said to be headed to the western Algerian city of Bechar.

Six people died when an Algerian Air Force C-130 crashed into a hillside in France in November 2012.

The defense ministry blamed that crash on bad weather.

The previous deadliest crash on Algerian soil occurred in 2003, when 102 people were killed after a civilian airliner crashed at the end of the runway in Tamanrasset.

It crashed shortly after take-off at Boufarik airbase near Algiers.

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