Friday, August 9, 2013

 

Plane carrying weapons crashes in Somalia

The cargo plane was carrying weapons from Ethiopia and crashed as it was attempting a landing at Mogadishu's seaside airport.


MOGADISHU, Somalia — A cargo plane full of weapons crash-landed at Mogadishu's seaside airport Friday, sending big plumes of dark smoke into the air, officials said.

The plane crashed as it was landing near the start of the runway, said Capt. Ali Hussein, a police officer at the airport.

A second airport official said the plane involved was a cargo plane full of weapons from Ethiopia. The official insisted on anonymity because he is not an authorized spokesman. The extent of any casualties wasn't immediately known.

The weapons most likely would have been destined for African Union or Somali troops, who continue to battle al-Qaida-linked militants from al-Shabab. The militants have shot at planes in the past but not in recent years.

Air traffic has increased significantly at the airport as Mogadishu continues its slow recovery from decades of warfare. Two major international carriers — Turkish Airlines and Air Uganda — operate direct flights into Mogadishu.

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