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Senior Ethiopian Air Force Pilots Among Those Killed in Mogadishu Crash
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) firefighters attempt to extinguish the fire at the site of an Ethiopian military plane crash in Mogadishu, Somalia on Friday, August 9th, 2013. (Photo: VOA News)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

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The four crew members killed on board the Ethiopian military plane that crashed on Friday at Mogadishu airport in Somalia were all experienced Ethiopian Air Force personnel, including two senior pilots who had also served under the previous regime, a source told Tadias Magazine.

A colleague of the former pilots who refused to be named said that those who died in the crash were experienced airmen who began work during the Derg era and were employed by the air force under the current government.

“I personally knew all of them,” the air force official said. “I am very sad to hear the news of their death in such an incident.” He added: “These pilots should be working as senior trainers and consultants not flying planes.”

The other two killed are also reported to have many years of experience in the Ethiopian Air Force.

The Ethiopian government has not issued a statement regarding the crash. But in a press release AMISOM said two surviving crew members have been admitted to a hospital in Mogadishu.

News reports say the military aircraft may have been carrying ammunition. According to international media, the Somali government is to appoint a committee later today to investigate the cause of the accident as well as the extent of the damage.

Although Ethiopia does have a sizable troop presence in Somalia, its forces are not in the country under the AU mission, AMISOM.


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