Sudan crash: Minister Ghazi al-Sadiq Abdel Rahim dies

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Ghazi al-Sadiq became minister for religious affairs just last month

The Sudanese government's religion minister has been killed in a plane crash along with all the other 31 people on board, official media say.

Two state ministers and the leader of a national political party were also among the dead.

The civilian aircraft, which was also carrying several military officials, came down in the Nuba Mountains.

It was on its way to South Kordofan for an Eid al-Fitr celebration, to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Apart from Guidance and Religious Endowments Minister Ghazi al-Sadiq Abdel Rahim, an official list of the dead included:

  • Justice Party Chairman Makki Ali Balayil
  • Mahjub Abdel Rahim Tutu, state minister at the Youth and Sports Ministry
  • Issa Daifallah, state minister at the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife
  • Several ranking members of the security forces
  • Several officials from Khartoum state
  • Media representatives and six crew

The aircraft came down in the Talodi area of South Kordofan, en route from the capital Khartoum.

The town of Talodi, some 50km (30 miles) from the border with South Sudan, lies on a plain, next to a range of hills.

A television statement said the weather prevented the aircraft from landing at its first attempt. Second time round, the plane hit a mountain.

An unnamed civil aviation representative told state radio the plane was an Antonov.

A civil war broke out in South Kordofan more than a year ago, and Talodi has been attacked by rebels several times. However a rebel spokesman said his forces had nothing to do with the crash, the BBC's James Copnall reports.

There have been several deadly plane crashes in Sudan in recent years.

The authorities complain that it is difficult to get spare parts because of US sanctions against Khartoum.

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