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Plane Crash in Pakistan Kills 152

Authorities said the Airblue jet was traveling from the southern port city of Karachi to Islamabad when it crashed into the Margalla Hills while attempting to land in rainy and cloudy conditions.

Rescue teams and army helicopters were sent to the crash site, but search and recovery efforts were hampered by difficult terrain and bad weather.

Pakistan's Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said rescuers had so far recovered 115 bodies and were searching for the plane's flight data recorder to determine the cause of the crash..

Witnesses said the plane was flying very low just before the crash, while an Airblue spokesman (Raheel Ahmad) said the pilots did not send any emergency signals.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed grief over the "tragic incident." The government declared Thursday a national day of mourning.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered condolences to the families of victims including two U.S. citizens. They said the American people stand with the people of Pakistan at this difficult time.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply saddened by the tragic air crash and extended his heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Pakistan. A U.N. statement said Mr. Ban wrote to Prime Minister Gilani to express the sincere sympathy of the United Nations with Pakistan at this painful time.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.