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UN plane crash-lands in Mali, injures 11

A United Nations plane careened off the runway while touching down in the northern Malian city of Gao on Monday, the international organisation said, injuring 11 people.

In a statement, the UN said that four of its officials and seven crew members were on board the plane which took off from the capital Bamako early on Monday.

One member of the crew had been seriously injured, while ten others were hurt.

“An investigation will be ordered as soon as possible to determine the cause of this incident,” the statement said.

According to Abdoulaye Maiga, a witness to the accident who works for an airport-security company, the plane had to make an emergency landing, at which point it “left the runway”.

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A photo circulated on social media on Monday, appearing to show a badly damaged white plane, bearing UN insignia, in a puddle of mud.

UN peacekeepers deployed to Mali in July 2013, after jihadists seized much of the north of the country the previous year.

The MINUSMA now has 13,000 troops in Mali, while France has 5,100 soldiers as part of Operation Barkhane, its anti-jihad force in the Sahel.

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Despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops, the conflict has engulfed the centre of Mali and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger to the west.

Thousands of military and civilian lives have died in the conflict to date.

(AFP)

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