Four crew dead as Russian cargo plane crashes near Khartoum after takeoff

A Russian cargo plane crashed near the Khartoum airport on Monday shortly after takeoff from the Sudanese capital, a spokesman for the country's civil aviation authority said. All four crew members were killed in the crash, according to the spokesman, Abdel Hafez Abdel Rahim. The crew were believed to be Russian. Abdel Rahim said the plane was destined for the south Sudanese capital of Juba and crashed "just minutes after takeoff" about 8 a.m. "about one kilometer or so from the airport." Ambulance sirens were heard in Khartoum after the crash. UN-operated Miraya Radio reported black smoke rising just south of the airport and said the Ilyushin 76 plane belonged to private Sudanese company Ababiel. It was a second plane crash in Sudan in one week and the third in June.