Osama bin Laden's relatives killed in UK plane crash

Late al-Qaeda leader's half sister and stepmother reportedly killed after plane crashes during landing at UK airport.

    The plane reportedly crashed into a car auction site next to the airport [EPA]
    The plane reportedly crashed into a car auction site next to the airport [EPA]

    Four people have been killed after a private jet crashed in southern England, reportedly including deceased al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's half sister and stepmother.

    The private plane owned by the bin Laden family overshot the runway when trying to land at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire on Friday morning. The plane crashed into a car auction site next to the airport.

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    Without confirming the identities of the victims, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, offered condolences on the embassy's official Twitter account to the bin Laden family, a prominent Saudi clan with vast business interests.

    "His royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, the ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United Kingdom, offered his condolences to the sons of the late Mohammed bin Laden and their relations for the grave incident of the crash of the plane carrying members of the family at Balckbushe airport," he said in the tweet.

    Saudi media reported that the family members included Osama bin Laden's half sister and stepmother.


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    A spokeswoman for the British police told the Reuters news agency: "There were no survivors, unfortunately. There were four people onboard including the pilot", but she did not provide their identities.

    The Saudi embassy said it was working with British authorities to investigate the incident and to ensure the speedy handover of the bodies for funerals and burials in the kingdom.

    Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US forces in Pakistan in 2011, ending a 10-year manhunt for the world's most wanted man, accused of being the mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

    In those attacks, planes were hijacked and flown into New York City's World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

    Before his death, the last known sighting of bin Laden by anyone other than his very close entourage was in late 2001 - as he prepared to flee his stronghold in Afghanistan. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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