BAMAKO (Reuters) -Two army personnel were killed and 10 people injured after a Russian-made airplane belonging to the Malian army crashed while landing at the airport in the northern Mali city of Gao on Tuesday, the army said.
The plane was a Sukhoi SU-25 type combat aircraft that was returning from a mission to support civilians in the region, according to a statement by the Malian Armed Forces.
The pilot and a military aircraft personnel on the ground were killed. Two civilians and eight military personnel were injured, two of which are in serious condition.
The incident is being investigated, although “at this stage” it does not appear to be the result of “hostile action”, the statement said.
The airport was briefly shut after the crash but is now fully operational, it added.
Gao is home to one of the main military bases in northern Mali from which troops are battling an Islamist insurgency with the help of hired Russian fighters.
(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo and Fadima Kontao; Writing by Nellie Peyton and Sofia Christensen; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Sandra Maler)