by Staff Writers
Nairobi (AFP) Aug 15, 2012
Kenyan emergency teams searched for a third day Wednesday for four personnel still unaccounted for after three Ugandan military helicopters crashed at the weekend, officials said.
Another body was found Wednesday inside the burnt wreckage of one helicopter, taking the number confirmed dead to three, said Kenyan army spokesman Bogita Ongeri.
"Search and rescue operations are underway and our teams are on the mountain," said Simon Gitau, a senior warden with the Kenya Wildlife Service, which is assisting in the rescue operations.
The Russian-made Mi-24 combat helicopters went down in a remote mountain region, near snowcapped Mount Kenya, on Sunday while en route to support African Union troops in war-torn Somalia.
One helicopter was found on Monday, with all seven servicemen on board rescued. The wreckage of the two other aircraft were found Tuesday, with one aircraft badly burned.
Three bodies were found in the charred wreck of one, but eight survivors from the other aircraft trekked eight kilometres (five miles) through dense forests in search of help, and were airlifted to Nairobi on Tuesday.
The Ugandan army said in a statement: "Our hearts are with those family members whose dear ones we are still searching for."
The aircraft came down in thickly forested mountainous terrain dominated by Mount Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak at 5,199 metres (17,057 feet).
Wild animals including elephants, leopards and rhinos prowl the forests, about 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of the capital Nairobi.
Uganda, which has blamed poor weather for the crashes, provides around a third of the nearly 17,000-strong AU force in Somalia.
Kampala had said last week that it would send its first combat and transport helicopters to the Horn of Africa nation.
The aircraft were seen as key to extending gains made against the hardline Shebab insurgents, who have fled a string of stronghold towns in recent months, stretching AU military resources over a far wider zone.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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Bahrain's Gulf Air to resume flights to Iraq, Iran
Dubai (AFP) Aug 15, 2012
Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air will resume flights to Iraq and Iran on September 20 after a hiatus of 17 months, the tiny Gulf kingdom's official BNA news agency said on Wednesday. The flights to Iraq and Iran - two countries where Shiite leaders criticised Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority Bahrain's bloody crackdown last year on Shiite-led protests calling for democratic reforms - were st ... read more
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