Children among 18 killed in Sudan military plane crash

Seven crew members, three judges and four children among dead

epa08094834 Sudanese people react as they gather in front of a court in Omdurman, near the capital Khartoum, Sudan, 30 December 2019, during the trial of a group of intelligence agents who are accused of the death of a school teacher while in custody. A court in Sudan on the day sentenced 27 members of the country's security forces to death by hanging for torturing and killing protester Ahmed Al-Khair, a school teacher, while in detention in February during protests against Sudan's longtime president Bashir.  EPA/MARWAN ALI
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Four children were among 18 people killed on Thursday when a Sudanese military transport plane crashed after take-off from West Darfur state.

The plane crashed five minutes after leaving an airport in the state capital El Geneina after delivering aid to the area, which was hit by recent deadly tribal fighting.

"An Antonov 12 military plane crashed on Thursday night after take-off from El Geneina, killing its seven-member crew, three judges and eight civilians, including four children," army spokesman Amer Al Hassan said.

He said an investigation was under way to determine the cause of the crash.

Most of Sudan's military and civilian fleet consists of old Soviet-made aircraft and the country has had several crashes in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.

At least 48 people have been killed and 241 wounded in the recent tribal violence in West Darfur, Sudan's Red Crescent said.

It said the armed clashes broke out on Sunday night in El Geneina, and continued until Monday between Arab and African groups, with several houses burnt down.