Sudan army confirms 18 dead in plane crash, four children involved

“Its seven-member crew, three judges and eight civilians, including four children, who were onboard,” Army spokesman, Amer Mohammed Al-Hassan said
A Sudanese military plane after it crashed. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

The Sudanese army has confirmed 18 people dead including children and crew members in the military plane crash that occurred on Thursday in El Geneina, capital city of West Darfur state.

Army spokesman, Amer Mohammed Al-Hassan said four children were among those killed when the Sudanese military transport plane crashed after take off from West Darfur state, an AFP report said.

“An Antonov 12 military plane crashed Thursday night after take off from El Geneina killing its seven-member crew, three judges and eight civilians, including four children, who were onboard,” Al-Hassan said.

The plane crashed five minutes after take off from an airport in El Geneina, after delivering aid to the area, which had been hit by recent deadly tribal fighting, the spokesman said while adding that an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the crash.

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Most of Sudan’s military and civilian fleet consists of old Soviet-made aircraft, and the country has suffered a series of crashes in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.

At least 48 people have been killed and 241 wounded in fresh tribal clashes within the Darfur region, Sudan’s Red Crescent said. It said the armed clashes broke out on Sunday night in El Geneina, and continued until Monday between Arab and African groups, with several houses torched.

“This morning the situation is calm,” the Red Crescent had said on Thursday.

It said the bodies of the 48 people killed were transferred to a morgue in El Geneina and that 19 of those wounded were in a critical condition and flown to Khartoum for treatment.

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According to Sudanese media, the fighting erupted after a row between two people, but it was not immediately clear what sparked it.

A woman reached by phone on Tuesday said she had fled the Krinding camp for displaced Masalit people, a non-Arab ethnic group, near El Geneina after assailants torched tents there.

“Our tents were set on fire. We have no food and only the clothes on our back and there are bodies littering the ground,” she told AFP.

The government also deployed troops to El Geneina to restore order.

Residents of the state capital who spoke to AFP by phone on Thursday said security forces were patrolling main roads in the city, and confirmed that the fighting had subsided.

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