Nine die as Yemen military aircraft crashes in Sanaa

Sanaa, Yemen:  A Yemeni military aircraft ploughed into a building in a residential neighbourhood of Sanaa on Tuesday killing at least nine people, medics and witnesses said.

The pilot was killed when the plane crashed near Change Square in eastern Sanaa, while at least eight civilians died on the ground, the sources said.

A military source identified the plane as a Russian-made Sukhoi SU-22 attack aircraft, but was unable to say what caused the crash which he said killed pilot Mohamed Shaker.

Medics expected the toll to rise as the aircraft smashed into a building that houses residences and shops near Change Square, epicentre of the uprising that ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

An AFP correspondent said the building was badly damaged and that several ambulances rushed to the scene as helicopters hovered overhead.

A loud explosion shook the area when the crash occurred, witnesses said. Thick black smoke billowed over the district, where several cars were ablaze.

In November, an Antonov M26 of the Yemeni air force crashed during a training mission in a northern district of Sanaa, killing all 10 occupants.

A Yemen air base is located near the Sanaa international airport, just 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of the capital.
Story First Published: February 19, 2013 15:46 IST

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