Cargo airplane crashes in Somalia

File: An African Union peacekeeping force soldier stands guard at the site where a cargo plane carrying supplies for AU troops crash-landed outside Somalia's capital, on October 13, 2015 at Arbiska. Photo: AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB

MOGADISHU - A cargo airplane with around 10 crew members has crash landed in Somalia in territory controlled by the Islamist al_Shabaab insurgents outside the capital Mogadishu, a government official said Thursday.

The aircraft crashed in the Omar Bere area, some 45 kilometres  south of the capital Mogadishu on Wednesday.

"We have confirmed a plane crash over al-Shabaab-controlled areas in Lower Shabelle," local government official Mohamed Hussein told AFP.

"We assume that the wreckage of the aircraft and any survivors are in the custody of the militants."

There was no information as to what the plane had been carrying, and no immediate response from al-Shabaab. The cause of the crash was also unknown.

Al-Shabaab, east Africa's long-time Al-Qaeda branch, is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, which is protected by 22,000 African Union troops.

AFP

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