Aircraft crashes with up to 31 deaths


KHARTOUM – Up to 31 people including at least one Sudanese minister were killed when an aircraft taking them to an Islamic festival crashed in the south of the country, an official and state media said yesterday.

It went down in mountains around Talodi, a town in South Kordofan, while taking a government delegation there to celebrate the festival marking the end of Ramadan, state news agency Suna said.

State television reported that 26 passengers were killed, among them religious affairs minister Ghazi al-Sadeq.

Abdel Hafiz Abdel Rahim, a civil aviation spokesman, said 31 people were killed including the crew, but had no details of identities. Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera reported that two ministers were on board but did not name them, and said security personnel and a media team were killed. The report did not say whether the aircraft belonged to state-owned Sudan Airways or another carrier. There have been several crashes in recent years involving Sudan Airways, worn down by years of US sanctions and other problems. – (Reuters)