official, patients killed as military plane crashes in Tunisia
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[February 21, 2014]
TUNIS (Reuters) — An Islamist
official in Libya's government and 10 other passengers and crew were
killed when a military plane carrying medical patients crashed near
Tunisia's capital early on Friday, officials said.
The Libyan Antonov aircraft went down after the pilot tried to
land in farmland near Grombalia town south of Tunis, Tunisia's TAP
state news agency reported.
Sheikh Meftah Daouadi, undersecretary at the Libyan Ministry of
Martyrs which looks after families of fighters killed in Libya's
2011 revolution, was among the dead, said a spokesman for his
organization, the Operations Room for Libyan Revolutionaries.
The veteran Islamist fighter took part in the revolt against Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi. It was unclear whether he was a patient, or
was on the plane accompanying one of the other passengers.
Six crew members as well as the patients and their companions died,
a spokesman for Tunisia's defense ministry said. Libyans often
travel to Tunisia for medical treatment.
Tunisia's TNN channel showed images of Tunisian firefighters dosing
the flaming wreckage of the gutted Libyan aircraft before dawn on
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It was the second crash involving a military plane in North Africa
in two weeks.
An Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in bad
weather on February 11, killing 77 people, in that country's worst
air disaster in a decade.
(Reporting by Tarek Amara and Ghaith Shennib in Tripoli; writing by
Patrick Markey; editing by Andrew Heavens)
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