Sudanese military plane crashes

 

A Sudanese military plane carrying personnel and equipment to the strife-torn Darfur region crashed near the capital Khartoum today killing 13 people on board, the army said.

The plane's engine stopped working and the pilot was trying to make an emergency landing when he went down about 40km southwest of the Khartoum suburb of Omdurman, state news agency SUNA reported.

The Antonov 12 transport plane was travelling to El Fasher in northern Darfur, military spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid said. Thirteen people died and nine were injured in the crash, all of them military personnel, he added.

There have been several crashes in Sudan in recent years, where years of US sanctions have made it difficult for airlines to get spare parts for their fleets.

In August, 32 people including a government minister died when a plane taking them to an Islamic festival in a southern border state crashed. State media blamed that accident on bad weather.

A military helicopter crashed in the country's North Kordofan state in December because of a technical failure, killing six crew members, the military said at the time.

Government forces have been battling an insurgency in Darfur since rebels took up arms in 2003, accusing the central government of neglecting the remote region.