Xinhua (China)

19 August 2012

Sudan: 31 Killed in Sudanese Plane Crash, Khartoum Confirms Death of Minister

Photo: UN Photo/Marco Castro
Sudanese president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir has paid tribute to the minister of Guidance and Endowments who died in a plane crash (file photo).

Khartoum — The Sudan government on Sunday officially confirmed the death of Sudan's Minister of Guidance and Endowments Ghazi al-Sadiq in a plane crash in Taloudy town in South Kordofan State earlier in the day that claimed 31 lives.

"The plane was carrying a ministerial delegation, headed by a minister and 25 others who were accompanying him in addition to 5 crew members - all of them were killed after the plane crashed following its collision with a mountain at the area of Taloudy in South Kordofan State," said Ahmed Bilal Osman, Sudan's Minister of Information, in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.

This was confirmed by earlier remarks from Abdul-Hafez Abdul-Rahim, spokesperson of Sudan's Civil Aviation, that all the 31 passengers aboard the plane were killed in the incident.

Osman's statement noted that the plane tried to land twice but failed before colliding with a mountain due to bad weather conditions.

The statement pointed out that the delegation headed on Sunday morning to South Kordofan State to present congratulations of Eid Al-Fitr, the day that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, to the people of the area and members of the Sudanese armed forces there. The region has been witnessing armed clashes between the Sudanese army and rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army ( SPLA)/northern sector.

The statement did not mention that the plane was shot down by a military attack.

The civil aviation's Abdul-Rahim have said earlier that the crashed plane, an Antinov, belonging to a civil aviation company, left Khartoum at 6:00 a.m. local time (0300 GMT).

"The plane flew over Taloudy airport in South Kordofan. An explosion was heard inside the mountains surrounding the area," he said.

Sudan has seen several plane crashes in recent years.

On June 20, 2012, a Sudanese military training aircraft crashed at the air base in Port-Sudan city in eastern the country, leaving its two-member crew killed.

On December 30, 2011, six crew members were killed when a military helicopter crashed in the western region of Darfur.

In 2008, at least 11 were killed in two cargo plane crashes in Sudan.

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