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US Air Force plane crashes after flying over Barack Obama speech

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WASHINGTON — A plane from the US Air Force’s elite Thunderbird team crashed in Colorado shortly after flying over a ceremony where President Barack Obama spoke, an official said.

The pilot ejected safely from the aircraft and was undergoing a medical examination, according to the Air Force official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Following the accident yesterday, Obama met with the pilot at Peterson Air Force Base before heading back to Washington aboard Air Force One.

Obama expressed relief that the pilot was not injured and thanked him for his service to the country, according to reporters who were traveling with the president.

The official said the F-16 Thunderbird crashed “shortly after conducting a flyover in support of the US Air Force Academy graduation commencement ceremony” in Colorado Springs, where Obama addressed the crowd.

Obama used the occasion to defend his approach to the Syrian conflict, warning against allowing the United States to become drawn into a new civil war in the Middle East.

The accident occurred about six miles (nine kilometers) from Peterson Air Force Base.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, the Air Force official said.

AFP

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5 dead as gunman attacks churchgoers in Russia

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At least five people were killed and another five were injured when a gunman attacked a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

CCTV footage from the site of the deadly shooting shows a man armed with a rifle gunning down two women in broad daylight.

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A bearded man clad in a black vest and camouflage pants was seen crossing the street before opening fire on two female churchgoers as they left a service in Kizlyar in the Republic of Dagestan on Sunday afternoon. A woman walking several meters from the attacker was seen rushing away as the bloodshed unfolded.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

Agencies

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