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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 00:37 GMT 01:37 UK
Plane crash in DR Congo kills 17
Dr Congo map
A plane has crashed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after clipping a mountainside, killing 17 people.

A United Nations spokeswoman said the Russian-built An-28 had been attempting to land at Bukavu in bad weather.

The plane then crashed in flames into a forest, 15km (nine miles) short of the airport runway.

Correspondents say air accidents are frequent in DR Congo, where 51 private companies operate mainly elderly planes built in the former Soviet Union.

The plane, operated by Air Traset, was carrying 14 passengers and three crew, reportedly Russian.

It had been on a flight from the mining town of Lugushwa, about 130km (80 miles) south of Bukavu.

Aircraft are used extensively for transport in DR Congo, a huge country where there are few paved roads.

In March, the European Union banned all but one of the country's air companies from operating in Europe.

And in June the International Air Transport Association included DR Congo in a group of several African countries it classed as an "embarrassment" to the industry.

The An-28 is a relatively modern Antonov plane, which first entered service in 1969. Most An-28s were built in Poland.

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