By Nangayi Guyson – At least seventy-eight people have been reported dead after a Moroccan military aircraft crash into a mountain in the south of the country, the army says.
The Moroccan C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed near Guelmim, just north of the disputed Western Sahara territory. The plane was travelling from Dakhla, in the Western Sahara, to Kinitra in northern Morocco.
It crashed at about 09:00 local time (08:00 GMT)due to poor weather conditions as it was attempting to make a scheduled stop at a military air base some 10km (six miles) east of Guelmim.
It was carrying 81 people: nine crew members, 60 troops and 12 civilians. Forty-two bodies have been found, three other people were severely wounded in the crash. The search continues for the others.
A local resident told Reuters news agency there was thick fog at the time of the crash. The mineral-rich, mainly desert territory of Western Sahara is the subject of a decades-long dispute between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front. The crash is believed to be one of Morocco’s deadliest air disasters in years.