78 killed in Moroccan military plane crash

Guelmim- MAP- At least 78 people were killed on Tuesday when a Moroccan military transport plane crashed into a mountain near Guelmim (southwest Morocco), the Moroccan Royal Air Forces said in a statement.

There were nine crew members, 60 soldiers and 12 civilians on board when the C-130 aircraft crashed at 9 a.m. ten kilometres northeast Guelmim (830km south of Rabat), killing 78 and leaving three seriously injured, the statement said.

the statement have blamed the accident on poor weather.

"Above all, it was the fog and bad weather conditions that are believed to be behind this accident. But for the moment, we don't have enough information," AFP news agency quoted an official from the interior ministry as saying.

A local resident told Reuters news agency there was thick fog at the time of the crash.

The plane was travelling from Dakhla, in the Western Sahara, to Kinitra in northern Morocco.

It crashed at about 09:00 local time (08:00 GMT) as it was attempting to make a scheduled stop at a military airbase some 10km (six miles) east of Guelmim.

It was carrying 81 people: nine crew members, 60 troops and 12 civilians.

Forty-two bodies have been found. The search continues for the others.

The mineral-rich, mainly desert territory of Western Sahara is the subject of a decades-long dispute between the Polisario Front and the Morocco colonial power . Most of it has been under Moroccan control since 1976.

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