Libyan official 10 others killed in military plane crash


A view of the wreckage of a Libyan military plane that crashed near Grombalia townAn Islamist official in Libya’s government and 10 other passengers and crew were killed when a military plane carrying medical patients crashed near Tunisia’s capital early on Friday, officials said.

The Libyan Antonov aircraft went down after the pilot tried to land in farmland near Grombalia town south of Tunis, Tunisia’s TAP state news agency reported.

Sheikh Meftah Daouadi, undersecretary at the Libyan Ministry of Martyrs which looks after families of fighters killed in Libya’s 2011 revolution, was among the dead, said a spokesman for his organization, the Operations Room for Libyan Revolutionaries.

The veteran Islamist fighter took part in the revolt against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. It was unclear whether he was a patient, or was on the plane accompanying one of the other passengers.

Six crew members as well as the patients and their companions died, a spokesman for Tunisia’s defense ministry said. Libyans often travel to Tunisia for medical treatment.

Tunisia’s TNN channel showed images of Tunisian firefighters dosing the flaming wreckage of the gutted Libyan aircraft before dawn on Friday.

It was the second crash involving a military plane in North Africa in two weeks.

An Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in bad weather on February 11, killing 77 people, in that country’s worst air disaster in a decade.


Photo: The wreckage of a Libyan military plane that crashed near Grombalia town, south of Tunis, is seen February 21, 2014. The Libyan military plane carrying medical patients crashed early on Friday near Tunisia’s capital, killing all 11 crew and passengers on board after an engine failure, Tunisian authorities said. REUTERS/Anis Mili