Indian military plane missing with 13 on board

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FILE PHOTO: Indian soldiers take positions outside the Sunjuwan Military Station in Jammu on February 10, 2018, following an attack by militants. PHOTO: Rakesh BAKSHI / AFP

An Indian military aircraft with 13 people on board went missing Monday in the northeast of the country, the defence ministry said.

The Russian-built Antonov An-32 took off from Jorhat in Assam state at 12:25 pm (0655 GMT) headed for Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China.

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“The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at 1300 hrs, thereafter there has been no contact,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

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“A total of eight crew and five passengers were on board the aircraft,” it said.

Spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel P. Khongsai said every effort was being made to locate the missing plane.

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Crashes by India’s sizeable fleet of ageing Russian military aircraft are relatively common.

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