Air disaster in Algeria, over 100 killed

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More than 250 people including members of Western Sahara's Polisario independence movement were killed when a military plane crashed in a field outside Algeria's capital on Wednesday, officials said.

14 ambulances were at the scene and injured people were being moved to hospital. One farmer said some passengers jumped out of the aircraft sooner than the crash, in response to the Related Press.

The Defense Ministry said those killed included 247 passengers and 10 crew.

King Mohammed VI sent a message of condolences and compassion to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika following the crash of a military plane that claimed several lives. It was carrying members of Algerian air force and their families.

Around 100 military personnel were on board the Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane, a military source told AFP, asking not to be named.

Some of the victims of that crash were civilians as military dependents often used the planes to travel as well as troops.

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Rabat considers Western Sahara an integral part of Morocco and proposes autonomy for the resource-rich territory.

The II-76 was created to carry extremely heavy cargo, and it is unlikely that passengers alone - even a large number - would be a problem.

The cause of the crash was unclear and an investigation had been launched, the ministry said. In recent decades, Algeria has bought military planes from both the US and Russian Federation. Just one person-a soldier-survived.

Wednesday's flight was en route to the Algerian region of Tindouf before heading south to Béchar, according to the defence ministry.

During a press conference on April 10, NTSB investigator Eliott Simpson, told reporters that they are looking into whether or not the plane was fit for six people.