A plane carrying aid supplies for use in the fight against the coronavirus has crashed in Somalia, killing all six people on board.
The Somali transport minister confirmed the number of deaths but declined to speculate on the cause of the crash.
A former defence minister told Reuters he spoke to a witness at the airfield who said the plane appeared to have been shot down.
Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked insurgency al-Shabaab has a presence in the area where the plane came down, although the town of Bardale – in the southern Bay region – and its airfield are secured by Somali forces and Ethiopian troops.
Six people – the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer and a trainee pilot, as well as two people working for the airline – were on board, Transport Minister Mohamed Salad told Reuters.
Five bodies have been recovered so far, he said.
Salad said he was sending a unit to investigate, who will arrive on Tuesday, and welcomed international assistance.
Somalia’s former minister of defence Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed told Reuters he spoke to a witness at the airfield who said the plane made an initial attempt to land, had to swing around again due to wildlife on the airfield, and then appeared to be shot on one wing on its second approach.