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Scores killed as military plane crashes in Algeria

Emergency services have converged on the area near the Boufarik military base.

At least 100 people have been killed as a military plane crashed soon after take-off in a farm field in northern Algeria, officials said.

The cause of the crash was unclear, and an investigation has been opened, according to the Defence Ministry.

Emergency services converged on the area near the Boufarik military base after the crash.

“There are more than 100 deaths. We can’t say exact how many at this point,” said Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency.

He said the plane was carrying soldiers.

The Defence Ministry did not provide a death toll but expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

The flight had just taken off from Boufarik, about 20 miles south west of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in south-west Algeria, Mr Achour said.

It was scheduled to stop off in Tindouf, southern Algeria, home to many refugees from the neighbouring western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco.

The Soviet-designed Il-76 military transport plane crashed in an agricultural zone with no residents, Mr Achour said.

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