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Africa

Guinea army chief dies in Liberia air crash

Kelefa Diallo, a close ally of Guinea's president, among several military officials killed while on security mission.
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2013 16:33
Much of the area where the plane went down in Charlesville is covered in deep forest [Reuters]

A plane carrying a military delegation from Guinea has crashed in Liberia, killing the army chief of staff and at least
nine other people, according to officials and a source close to the Guinean presidency.

General Kelefa Diallo, was on a security mission to Liberia when the plane crashed on Monday, police in Guinea said.

"There was the chief of staff and five other military officials on the plane," the Guinean source, who asked not to be identified, said. 

"It's clear that everyone on the plane is dead."

 

The aircraft went down in the town of Charlesville, about 8km from the Roberts International Airport on Monday.

A presidency official in Guinea confirmed that the head of the country's armed forces and other senior military officials were killed in the crash.
 
Diallo was a close ally of Guinean President Alpha Conde.

"There were 10 people on board this flight and none of them survived," Lewis Brown, Liberian information minister, said.

But a source close to Guinea's presidency told the AFP news agency that 18 people had died.

"There were 18 people on board including the chief of staff of the Guinean army, General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo, and they all died," the source said. 

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a day of mourning on Tuesday for the victims. 

Much of the area where the plane went down is covered in deep forest.

Liberian officials said they did not yet have a list of those on board the plane and were unsure how many were crew members.

They were due to brief the press at the airport later in the day.

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