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Algerian military plane crashes near Boufarik airport, 257 killed

257 people died after an Alegerian military plane crashed near an airbase outside the capital Algiers on Wednesday, according to state TV. The military transport plane crashed into a field shortly after take off at Boufarik airport, southwest of Algiers.

The aircraft was an Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane.

Television footage showed black smoke billowing near a motorway and a crowd of security officials and others standing in a field next to the crash site.

The tail fin of a plane could be seen above olive trees, with smoke and flames rising from the wreckage.

Hundreds of ambulances and dozens of fire trucks with their sirens wailing rushed to the scene.

Victims of the plane crash included 26 members of the Western Saharan Polisario independence movement, an official in Algeria's ruling FLN party said.

FLN Secretary General Djamel made the comment to private broadcaster Ennahar TV. The plane was headed to Tindouf in Algeria's south, home to camps for refugees from a long-running territorial dispute in Western Sahara, when it crashed.