Cargo plane of weapons crashes on Mogadishu runway

A cargo plane full of weapons crash landed at Mogadishu`s seaside airport in Somalia on Friday, sending big plumes of dark smoke into the air, officials said.

Mogadishu: A cargo plane full of weapons crash landed at Mogadishu`s seaside airport in Somalia on Friday, sending big plumes of dark smoke into the air, officials said.

The plane crashed as it was landing near the beginning of the runway, said Captain Ali Hussein, a police officer at the airport.

A second airport official said the plane involved was a cargo plane full of weapons from Ethiopia. The official insisted on anonymity because he is not an authorised spokesman. The extent of any casualties wasn`t immediately known.

The weapons most likely would have been destined for African Union or Somali troops, who continue to battle al Qaida-linked militants from al Shabab. The militants have shot at planes in the past but not in recent years.

Air traffic has increased significantly at the airport as Mogadishu continues on a slow recovery from decades of warfare. Two major international carriers Turkish Airlines and Air Uganda operate direct flights into Mogadishu.

AFP