A French soldier and a journalist look at debris of the Air Algerie Flight AH 5017 scattered at the crash site
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Air Algerie plane 'asked to turn back'

29 July 2014 Last updated at 04:44 BST

The French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, has confirmed that the pilots of a plane that crashed in Mali last Thursday had asked for a change of course.

Mr Fabius said the crew of the Air Algerie plane flying from Burkina Faso had then requested permission to turn back, before all contact was lost.

He also said the recovery and identification of the bodies was proving extremely difficult.

Emily Thomas reports.