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Military plane crashes in Algeria, 103 dead - TV

Source: Reuters - Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:37 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds comments by local official)

ALGIERS, Feb 11 (Reuters) - A military transport plane carrying members of the armed forces and their relatives crashed in eastern Algeria on Tuesday killing 103 people, the private Ennahar TV station reported, citing "informed sources".

A local official told Reuters one person survived the crash and 53 bodies had been recovered, but declined to give an overall death toll, saying the search and rescue operation was still underway.

The plane crashed in a mountainous area in the Oum El Bouaghi province, about 500 km (300 miles) from the capital Algiers, Ennahar TV reported.

A military official, Colonel Lahmadi Bouguern, told the APS state news agency 99 passengers and four crew members had been on the plane but the death toll was "yet to be determined", adding bad weather and strong winds may have been a factor in the crash.

The transport plane took off from Algeria's southern Tamanrasset province and was bound for the eastern city of Constantine, APS said.

If the death toll is confirmed, the crash will be the worst in Algeria since 2003 when an Air Algerie jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Tamanrasset, killing 102 people.

(Reporting By Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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