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Middle East

Deadly military aircraft crash in Yemen

At least 12 people have reportedly been killed in crash near the site of recent protests in Sanaa.
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2013 21:23
The aircraft was on a training mission when it crashed, according to the defence ministry [Luke Somers for Al Jazeera]

At least 12 people have been killed after a military aircraft crashed in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

It crashed into buildings near "Change Square," the site of two years of anti-government protests, according to witnesses. The death toll is expected to rise as the aircraft caused heavy damage to buildings.

The aircraft was on a training mission, the defence ministry told the Reuters news agency. A security official said the pilot had ejected from the plane. There was no immediate word on whether he had survived. 

"It's terrible and painful," resident Abdullah al-Ashwal said. "The police and medics evacuated five completely burned bodies, they were all unrecognisable."

Cars in the area were set on fire, and rescue efforts are ongoing. An eyewitness, Ahmed Fathi, told the Associated Press that at least two houses were completely destroyed, and that people were still believed to be under the rubble.

Witnesses say they saw five burnt bodies taken away by an ambulance  [Luke Somers for Al Jazeera]

An eyewitness, Ahmed Fathi, said he saw five burnt bodies taken away by an ambulance. Fathi, who lives in the neighbourhood, also said two houses were completely destroyed in the crash and that people were still believed to be under the rubble.

The neighbourhood is close to the main city square that was the epicenter of Yemen's uprising and protests over the past two years.

Medical officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the civilians killed in the crash included three women, two children and four men.

They said they believed were more victims were under the rubble.

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

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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