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Cargo Plane With 11 On Board Crashes Near Mogadishu


A plane carrying 11 people aiding the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia has crashed near the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Several witnesses and officials say the aircraft was downed by a missile shortly after takeoff from the Mogadishu airport Friday.

The plane was a Russian or Belarusian-built cargo plane used by the A.U. mission in Somalia. A.U. and Somali government sources say the passengers included technicians who had been working to repair another plane at the airport.

There has been no word on whether anyone survived the crash.

The apparent attack followed two days of intense clashes in Mogadishu that have killed at least 25 people.

Fighting on the ground largely died down today after the powerful Hawiye clan said it had reached a ceasefire with Ethiopian forces who back the Somali government.

Many of the Islamist fighters who have been fighting the government come from the clan.

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