An Algerian military plane crashed during a training flight, killing two people on board, the country’s defence ministry said on Thursday.

The Russian SU 24 aircraft crashed late on Wednesday in an inhabited agricultural area in the Northern province of Tiaret, the ministry said in a statement.

The pilot and co-pilot were killed during the “night-time training flight”, it said, adding that it was investigating the causes of the accident.

It was the first such incident since the country’s worst military plane crash that killed 257 people in April last year at a military base near Algiers.

In April an Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane slammed into a field near an airbase south of Algiers, killing 257 people — Algeria’s deadliest such incident in 20 years.

Algerian media reports that several previous accidents were due to poor maintenance of the military fleet.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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