By: ABDULKADIR KHALIF
An aircraft chartered by the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) crashed on Wednesday in a remote area in Afgoye district, south of Mogadishu.
Mr Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Sidee, the governor of Lower Shabelle region, confirmed the incident, adding that heavy rains coupled with strong winds may have caused the crash.
Sources said the Kenyan-registered Dornier DO-328 plane was carrying supplies for Amisom.
Its destination was said to be Balidogle airport, a former military airstrip, 110 km south of the Somali capital.
It had departed from Nairobi.
“We know that the aircraft crashed in a rural area called Osman-durre,” said Governor Sidee.
Some reports indicated that militants loyal to the jihadist group Al-Shabaab who control the area overran the crash site, covering the plane with branches and leaves to hide it.
There was no information on casualties. However, unconfirmed reports said the militants had seized 12 crew members and taken them away from the crash site.
The nationality of the crew and their whereabouts were not known.
“We sent the Somali National Army forces and Amisom troops to the area to secure the plane,” Governor Sidee said.
The Somali government has issued no other statement.
On October 12, an Egypt-owned plane ferrying supplies to Amisom crashed between Mogadishu and Afgoye town.
But since the crash area was controlled by the federal government of Somalia, the plane’s crew members were safely removed and taken to Mogadishu.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION