South Asian Insider
Russian military plane crash in Syria kills dozens
The An-26 plane crashed during landing at Hmeimim airbase, near the coastal city of Latakia, the ministry is quoted as saying by Russian media. It says all 39 military personnel on board died, not 32 as earlier reported. The plane was not fired upon, the ministry says, and preliminary data suggests a technical malfunction could have caused the crash.
An investigation is now under way. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the victims' relatives.
Meanwhile, medics in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area of Syria say they have been treating people with breathing problems after a suspected chlorine attack. The reports follow government air strikes and shelling just hours after the last UN aid envoy left the enclave following a supposed five-hour truce. In a separate development, UN war crimes investigators say air strikes in Syria by both Russia and the US-led coalition killed large numbers of civilians last year.The Russian defence ministry says the An-26 crashed at about 15:00 Moscow Time (12:00 GMT).
It says the plane went down about 500m (1640ft) from the runway.
A special commission is to be set up to investigate the crash.
On 7 January, Russian forces said they had foiled a drone attack on Hmeimim.
This was just a week after Russian warplanes were damaged at the airbase in a rebel mortar attack.The attack targeted the town of Hammoria and led to the evacuation of dozens of civilians, according to the Syrian Civil Defence, whose volunteer rescue workers are widely known as the White Helmets.
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