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Sabotage could be to blame for Il-76 crash in Uganda - airline


MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - The owner of the Il-76 aircraft that crashed in Uganda earlier Monday said an act of sabotage could be to blame for the crash that killed 11 people on board, Russia's Vesti TV channel reported on its website.

The Il-76 owned by the Aerolift airline with cargos for Somalia-based Ugandan peacekeepers fell down for unknown reasons into Lake Victoria and sunk two minutes after taking off from Entebbe International Airport.

The crew consisted of two Russians and two Ukrainians. There were also two U.S. nationals, one South African, two high-ranking military officers from Burundi and two officers from Uganda. All are believed to have been killed.

The airline said the plane was reliable. "This could have been an act of sabotage by activists of Islamist organizations who support the war in Somalia," a spokesman said, adding that there had been attempts of sabotage in Entebbe Airport earlier.

A total of 3,500 servicemen from Uganda and Burundi making part of the African Union contingent are based in Somalia.

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