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Over 100 killed as military aircraft crashes near Boufarik Airport

AP Associated Press

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At least 105 people were killed when a military plane crashed soon after take-off in a farm field in northern Algeria, officials have said.

The cause of the crash was unclear, and an investigation has been opened, according to a Defence Ministry statement.

Emergency services converged on the area near the Boufarik military base after the crash.

The jet was carrying more than 200 servicemen, according to media reports.

An Algerian military source told Al-Hadath broadcaster that there were no survivors from the plane crash.

The jet crashed on Wednesday morning, shortly after taking off from Boufarik Airport, which is the base for the Air Transport fleet of the Algerian Air Force.

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The crashed plane was an Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter, Algerian media report.

The base is only 20km from the Algerian capital of Algiers.

The flight had just taken off from Boufarik, about 30 kilometres south-west of the capital Algiers, for a military base in Bechar in southwest Algeria, Mr Achour said.

It was scheduled to make a layover in Tindouf in southern Algeria, home to many refugees from the neighbouring Western Sahara, a disputed territory annexed by Morocco.

The Soviet-designed Il-76 military transport plane crashed in an agricultural zone with no residents, Mr Achour said.

Four years ago a plane carrying military personnel and family members crashed in Algeria, killing 77 people.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

Gorkha Post

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

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Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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