Plane carrying coronavirus aid crashes in Somalia

Elias Hubbard
May 5, 2020

The Somali authorities say a plane carrying coronavirus aid supplies has crashed, killing the six people on board.

It left the capital Mogadishu and briefly stopped in the city of Baidoa before continuing to the town of Bardale, in the southern Bay region, where it crashed a short distance from the airport.

All seven people on board were killed as a result of the crash.

Foreign Affairs Ministry said the circumstance under which the aircraft crashed was unclear and needed to be investigated to avoid any repeat in the future.

Kenya has asked Somalia to investigate "unclear circumstances" under which a light aircraft was shot down in Bardale area.

The group, which is affiliated with the global al-Qaeda terrorist network, wants to establish an Islamist state in Somalia.

It is reported that Ethiopian forces were not aware that the plane was due to land in the town, leading to this accidental downing of the plane.

Ethiopian, Somalian, and African Union forces operate in the area because of the threat posed by the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs working with other Agencies shall keenly monitor the investigation of this tragic incident and will collaborate with all to bring closure and resolution to the incident".

In a statement, Somalia's transport and civil aviation ministry expressed its "deep regret" over the crash and said the government was conducting a "thorough investigation".

It said the Embraer 120 twin-turboprop was operated by African Express, which has its headquarters in Kenya's Nairobi.

A projectile fired from the ground hit the plane as it approached the airstrip, Ahmed Isaq, a South West State regional administration official, told The Associated Press news agency.

Somalia has meanwhile long accused its larger neighbour of meddling in its internal affairs, something Kenya has denied.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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