JOHANNESBURG, April 11 – The death toll in Wednesday’s military plane crash in Algeria has climbed to at least 257 people, media reports say quoting civil defence officials.
The BBC reported on Wednesday that at least 26 members of the Polisario Front, supported by Algeria and seeking independence from Morocco for Western Sahara, are said to be among the dead.
The incident happened shortly after the plane took off from Boufarik military airport near the capital Algiers, but reasons for the crash remain unclear.
Mohammed Achour, the chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, said the Russian-designed Il-76 military transport plane had been carrying soldiers.
TV footage showed 14 ambulances at the scene transferring the injured to hospital and smoke from a wreckage in the field.
An investigation into the crash has been ordered by the Algeria’s military chief.
Four years ago a plane carrying military personnel and family members crashed in Algeria, killing 77 people.