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Ethiopian air force plane crashes at Mogadishu airport, killing 4

By Samira Said and Omar Sheik Nor, for CNN
updated 4:13 AM EDT, Fri August 9, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The plane "burst into flames immediately on crashing"
  • It was carrying arms to the African Union forces in Somalia
  • The peacekeeping force has more than 17,000 personnel from across Africa

Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- An Ethiopian military cargo plane crashed at an airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu early Friday, killing four crew members, African Union peacekeepers said.

The plane "burst into flames immediately on crashing" at the international airport, according to the African Union Mission to Somalia.

It was carrying arms to the African Union forces in Somalia when it crashed as it landed just before 8 a.m. local time, airport staff said.

AMISOM expressed condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia.

Established in 2007, the peacekeeping force has more than 17,000 personnel from across Africa helping the Somali government battle Islamist militants in the nation.

Backed by the United Nations, its role is to help maintain peace and support Somalia's federal government, as the African nation struggles to emerge from more than two decades of conflict.

Journalist Omar Sheik Nor reported from Mogadishu and Samira Said from Atlanta.

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