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France sends troops to secure crash site of Air Algerie plane

Published on Jul 25, 2014 10:07 AM
French President Francois Hollande delivers a statment to the press at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 24, 2014, after an Air Algerie plane with about 110 passengers, including 50 French nationals, went missing after taking off from Burkina Faso for Algiers. -- PHOTO: AFP 

PARIS (REUTERS/AFP) - France said on Friday it had sent a military unit to secure the site of the wreckage of an Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members which was found in Mali close to the border with Burkina Faso.

The plane, in which 51 French nationals were aboard, was clearly identified despite being broken up, a statement from French President Francois Hollande's office said.

"A French military unit has been sent to secure the site and gather the first elements of information," it said.

French President Francois Hollande expressed his solidarity with the families and friends of the victims.

Air Algerie said flight AH5017 left Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso for Algiers overnight on Wednesday. Radar contact with the McDonnell Douglas 83 was lost 50 minutes into the flight, a little after the pilots said they were diverting from the route due to severe weather.