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Algerian Military Plane Crash Kills Over 250 People.

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More than 250 people were killed when a military plane crashed in a field outside Algeria’s capital on Wednesday, state media said, in the country’s worst air disaster.

Television footage showed crowds and emergency vehicles massing around the smoking and flaming wreckage near Boufarik airport southwest of Algiers.

A line of white body bags could be seen on the ground next to what media said was a Russian Ilyushin transport plane.

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A total of 257 people were killed, most of them military, the defence ministry said. Ten crew and other people described as family members also died, and a number of survivors were being treated at an army hospital, the ministry added.

A member of Algeria’s ruling FLN party told the private Ennahar TV station the dead included 26 members of Polisario, an Algerian-backed group fighting for the independence of neighbouring Western Sahara – a territory also claimed by Morocco in a long-running dispute.

The plane was heading to Tindouf, an area on Algeria’s border with Western Sahara, but crashed on the airport’s perimeter, Algeria’s defence ministry said.

Tindouf is home to thousands of refugees from the Western Sahara standoff, many of them Polisario supporters.

U.N. attempts to broker a settlement have failed for years in the vast desert area, which has contested since 1975 when Spanish colonial powers left. Morocco claimed the territory while Polisario established its self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic there.

Algeria’s defence ministry issued a statement expressing condolences to families of the victims.

An Air Algerie flight crashed in northern Mali carrying 116 passengers and crew, nearly half of them French, en route from Burkina Faso to Algeria in July 2014.

In February that year, an Algerian Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules crashed in a mountainous area in eastern Algeria killing 77 passengers and leaving one survivor.

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UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Britain, UN worry over Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.

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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.

The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.

Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.



The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.

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“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.

“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”

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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.

Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.

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