Sudan military helicopter crashes killing crew: army

KHARTOUM

A Sudanese military helicopter has crashed in Northern State, killing all four crew members on board, the army said on Wednesday, in the latest accident to hit its ageing fleet.

The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to “bad weather” in state capital Dongola, army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa Shami said in a statement.

“All four crew members on board were martyred.”

Sudan’s fleet of Russian-manufactured aircraft has suffered several crashes in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.

In April 2016, a Soviet-era Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed while landing in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state. All five crew members on board were killed.

In June 2013, two air force crew died when their helicopter crashed in war-torn Blue Nile state, just a week after one went down in South Kordofan state, another war zone.

The military has relied heavily on air power in its campaign against rebel groups in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

Rebels often claim to have shot down military aircraft in Sudan’s conflict zones.

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