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09:47, 07 March 2018

Russian military transport plane crashes in Syria, killing all 39 on board

AKIPRESS.COM - A Russian military transport plane has crashed in Syria killing more than 30 people, the defence ministry says.

The An-26 plane crashed during landing at Hmeimim airbase, near the coastal city of Latakia, the ministry is quoted as saying by Russian media.

It says all 39 military personnel on board died, not 32 as earlier reported, BBC says.

The plane was not fired upon, the ministry says, and preliminary data suggests a technical malfunction could have caused the crash.

An investigation is now under way. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the victims' relatives.

Meanwhile, medics in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area of Syria say they have been treating people with breathing problems after a suspected chlorine attack.

The reports follow government air strikes and shelling just hours after the last UN aid envoy left the enclave following a supposed five-hour truce.

In a separate development, UN war crimes investigators say air strikes in Syria by both Russia and the US-led coalition killed large numbers of civilians last year.

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