Guinea military head killed in Liberia plane crash

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe plane came down in a thick forest

The head of Guinea's armed forces has been killed in a plane crash in neighbouring Liberia, along with 10 other people, it has been announced.

Gen Souleymane Kelefa Diallo was leading Guinea's delegation to mark Liberia's annual Armed Forces Day.

No-one survived after the plane with six military officials and five crew came down in thick forest, reports say.

The crash happened in Charlesville, near Monrovia's international airport, Liberia's information minister said.

At the ceremony, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dedicated a minute's silence to those who died "in the tragic plane crash".

She later visited the site where the Casa CN-235 came down near the Roberts International Airport about 45km (28 miles) south of Monrovia.

The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh also visited the site and says the 11 charred bodies were pulled from the wreckage.

They were then moved to the Du-Side hospital, at one of the world's biggest rubber plantations, run by the Firestone company, near the airport, he says.

"This accident cost the life of six members of the delegation, including General Souleymane Kelefa Diallo, head of the armed forces, and five members of the crew," Guinea's Defence Minister Abdoul Kabele Camara said in a statement.

Reuters news agency reports that Gen Diallo was one of the main architects of the reform of Guinea's powerful military, which seized power in 2008.

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