[QODLink]
Africa
Sudan officials killed in plane crash
State television reports deaths of a cabinet member and 31 other officials travelling to war-torn south.
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2012 01:45

A cabinet minister was among 32 government officials killed in a plane crash in Sudan, according to state media.

The group was an official delegation to Southern Kordofan, a war-torn state where the Sudanese army is fighting rebel groups. They were travelling to attend a function marking the Muslim Eid holiday, state news agency SUNA said.

The plane went down in mountains around Talodi, a town in South Kordofan, on Sunday.

SUNA's report blamed the crash on "bad weather conditions" but did not give further details.

"Before landing, communication with the pilot was normal and the runway clear. Then an explosion was heard and the plane was destroyed," Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim, spokesman for the Sudan Aviation Authority, told the AFP news agency.

The country's Guidance and Endowments (religious affairs) Minister Ghazi al-Sadeq was killed in the crash, along with Mahjoub Abdel Raheem Toutou, state minister for youth and sports, and Eissa Daifallah, state minister for tourism, antiquities and wildlife, it said.

Several people associated with the country's military, state security and state media also died in the crash, the agency added.

Accidents common

Accidents are common among Sudan's ageing fleet of aircraft, and Europe bans all Sudanese airlines for safety reasons.

A Sudan Airways cargo plane crashed when it was taking off in the United Arab Emirates in 2009. At least 30 people died when a Sudan Airways jet burst into flames on landing in Khartoum in 2008.

Oil-producing Southern Kordofan borders South Sudan, which seceded over a year ago. The border state has been the site of an insurgency since shortly before South Sudan's independence.

Khartoum accused rebels of killing a state official and seven other people there in July. A spokesman for the man rebel group in the army, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North, said the insurgents had nothing to do with Sunday's plane crash.

304

Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Featured
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
join our mailing list