Авиакатастрофы в Судане

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IL Serge Pod #04.04.2001 22:16

Serge Pod


Замминистра обороны Судана и 15 офицеров погибли в авиакатастрофе

В среду в Судане заместитель министра обороны страны и еще 15 представителей военного руководства погибли в авиакатастрофе. Военный самолет разбился в Южном Судане, в 500 км от столицы страны Хартум. О причинах катастрофы не сообщается. //Reuters

http://www.gazeta.ruWednesday April 4 4:01 PM ET
Sudanese Leaders Killed in Crash

By MOHAMED OSMAN, Associated Press Writer

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) - In a blow to Sudan's powerful military at a critical point in the civil war, the country's deputy defense minister and 13 other high-ranking officers were killed Wednesday as their plane crashed on takeoff in the war-torn south.

The Russian-made Antonov plane broke in two after it skidded off the runway in bad weather, military spokesman Lt. Gen. Mohammed Bashir Osman said. He did not describe the weather, but it was believed to be a sandstorm.

Sixteen people on the plane survived the crash, six of whom were flown to Khartoum for treatment, Osman said. He said the crash site was far away from the war zone.

State television broadcast pictures of the wrecked plane, its fuselage broken into pieces and gutted by fire. Part of the plane lay smoldering by a small building.

Sudan's rebels had no troops in the area at the time of the crash, said Samson Kwaje, a spokesman for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army in Nairobi, Kenya.

The deputy defense minister, Col. Ibrahim Shamsul-Din, and the others had been touring a southern military area and were headed back to Khartoum when their plane crashed, state television said.

Besides the deputy defense minister, those killed were a general, seven lieutenant generals, three brigadiers, a lieutenant colonel, a colonel and a corporal.

The crash took place in Adaril, in an oil-rich area 470 miles south of Khartoum that has been the scene of attacks on aircraft by southern rebels.

Shamsul-Din had backed the coup in which President Omar el-Bashir's took power in 1989. The military remains the main power broker in Sudan, not least because the country has been embroiled in civil war for 18 years.

All the dead were buried in Adaril hours after the crash, Osman said. Muslim tradition holds that burial take place following the first noon prayers after death.

In Khartoum on Wednesday night, el-Bashir hailed the dead as martyrs whom God had chosen ``because they are the best among us, because they are the purest, because He loves them.''

Interrupted by repeated cries of ``No God but Allah,'' the president vowed to continue the war to liberate towns from rebel control.

The blow to Sudan's military hierarchy came amid sharpening tensions between the government and opposition leader Hassan Turabi, a rightist Islamic ideologue. Turabi was arrested earlier this year after his party announced it was forging an alliance with southern rebels.

The crash also came at a time when Sudan was believed to be using its newfound oil wealth to take the upper hand against the rebels. Sudan in 1998 began exporting oil from the Bentiu fields near Adaril, and there have been a series of rebel attacks on the area.

The conflict between Sudan's Islamic government in the north and rebels fighting for increased autonomy in the predominantly Christian and animist south has killed nearly 2 million people.

Landing and taking off from the south have been a major concern for government troops since the rebels of the SPLA acquired shoulder-fired Sam-7 antiaircraft missiles shortly after the war broke out in 1983.

In 1986, the SPLA shot down a Sudan Airways aircraft shortly after it took off from Malakal, killing all 70 people on board. The SPLA claimed that the national carrier's aircraft was ferrying military personnel.

In 1998, Sudan's First Vice President Zubair Mohamed Saleh died along with 26 other people when their Russian-made transport plane skidded off the runway and fell into a river in southern Sudan.

State television identified the dead from Wednesday's crash as Shamsul-Din; Gen. Amir Qassim Moussa; lieutenant generals Malik al-Aaqel al-Hazem, Bakri Omar Khalifa, Sayyed al-Obeid Omar, Kamal-Eddine Ali al-Amin, Ali Arika Kowal, Yassin Arabi Mohammed and Faysal Issa Abu Fatma; brigadiers Omar al-Amin Kara, Ahmed Youssef Mustafa and Jamy Abolo; Col. Osman Ahmed al-Mustapha; Lt. Col. Omar Osman Ali; and Cpl. Mohammed Ahmed.

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