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Wednesday, 4 April, 2001, 14:29 GMT 15:29 UK
Sudanese military plane crash kills minister

A Sudanese military plane has crashed in the south of the country, killing the deputy defence minister, Colonel Ibrahim Shamsul-Din.

State radio said around a dozen other senior officers died when the aircraft veered off the runway and crashed at an airport at Adaril in Upper Nile state.

It said the group had been on a mission to inspect government troops in an area close to Sudan's oilfields.

It's not clear what caused the plane to crash.

A BBC correspondent in the region says there have been no recent reports of fighting in the area, although oil installations have been a target for southern rebels since Sudan began exporting oil in 1999. Colonel Shamsul-Din was among a group of army officers who brought President Bashir to power in a coup in 1989.

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