PLANE CRASH IN SUDAN: MINISTER, 30 OTHERS PERISH

Posted: August 19, 2012 in News

A Sudanese government minister was among up to 31 people killed after a plane crashed in southern Sudan, the official news agency reported.

Guidance and Religious Endowments Minister Ghazi al Saddiq Abdel Rahim was on board the flight, which came down in mountains in war-torn South Kordofan state.

It was landing at Talodi for a function marking the Muslim Eid holiday when it crashed.

Abdelhafiz Abdelrahim, a spokesman for the Sudan Aviation Authority, said: “All people on board were killed.”

He added that the aircraft was landing this morning when “an explosion was heard and the plane was destroyed” and that 31 people including the flight crew were killed.

The SUNA news agency reported: “The presidency of the republic eulogises the Minister of Guidance (Ghazi al Saddiq) and others martyred in a plane crash this morning in Talodi.”

It added the plane crashed “due to harsh weather conditions”.

Saddiq took up the position last month after a cabinet reshuffle. He had been minister of tourism and antiquities.

Oil-producing South Kordofan borders South Sudan, which seceded more than a year ago. The border state has been the site of an insurgency since shortly before South Sudan’s independence.

A spokesman for the main rebel group in the area, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North, said it had nothing to do with the plane crash.

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