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At least 257 people died today in a military plane crash in northern Algeria, according to state media.

The Algerian military plane crashed soon after takeoff in a farm field near a military base about 20 miles southwest of the capital Algiers, near the Mediterranean Sea, according to Mohammed Achour, chief spokesman for the civil protection agency.

“There are more than 100 deaths. We can’t say exactly how many at this point,” Achour told The Associated Press. The Soviet-designed II-76 military plane came down on an area with no residents, Achour added.

The cause of the crash was unknown. The Algerian Defense Ministry has opened an investigation.

Source: Algerian military plane crash kills at least 257 people – ABC News

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