Sudan's Destroyed Plane Was Piloted By Russian National

Photo: Sudan News Agency
President Omer Al-Bashir paying his respects.

Khartoum — The Sudanese plane that crashed in South Kordofan state on Sunday was driven by a Russian pilot, the Russian embassy in Khartoum said.

An Antonov AN-26 belonging to Alfa Airlines crashed in an accident near Taoldi airport, killing 26 people including six high ranking Sudanese government officials and military and a politician.

The aircraft went down into a mountain near the airport due to the limited visibility caused by a dust storm. Initial reports spoke about rains.

"Russian pilot Gennady Semyonov was commander of the aircraft," said Yuri Vidakas First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Khartoum in statements to Tass news agency on Monday.

He further said the crew of the Russian-made plane included an Armenian and a Tajik nationals. "Unfortunately, all people on board were killed," he further said.

Sudanese authorities said the crew was composed of six people.

The ministerial delegation was heading to Talodi, 650 klm southwest of Khartoum, to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with the Sudanese soldiers mobilised to fight a rebellion in South Kordofan.

UN agencies UNAMID, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinators expressed in different statements their condolences to the Sudanese government of the tragic plane crash.

First Vice-President Ali Osman Taha paid a visit to the families of the victims in Khartoum state to present the condolences of the government. Other ministers and governors did the same for those whose families are living in other states.

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