ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - More than 250 military personnel were killed when a military plane crashed near Boufarik airbase outside the Algerian capital, local media reported on Wednesday.
The plane, Soviet-designed Ilyushin Il-76, was carrying scores of military troops, according to the local media reports.
The plane was heading to the western Algerian city of Bechar, according to the Algerie24 media outlet. The cause of the crash was stated as unclear.
“There are more than 100 deaths. We can't say exactly how many at this point,” said Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency, adding that the plane was carrying soldiers.
The Algerian Defense Ministry has launched an investigation into the incident and has expressed condolences to the victims' families.
State media later reported that 257 people were on board and that none of them survived the crash.
Images posted on the social media networks show a thick plume of smoke rising from the site of the incident as rescuers and ambulances rush to the site.
Boufarik airbase is located about 20 miles (32km) from Algiers in northern Algeria.
This is the third airplane accident with a high number of casualties inside Algeria in recent years.
Editing by John J. Catherine