Iraqi army plane crashes, 3 crew missing


A file photo of a helicopter crash in Iraq. PHOTO: AFP

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi army plane crashed during a reconnaissance flight near the city of Kirkuk on Wednesday and its three crew went missing, a high-ranking military source said, blaming a “technical problem”.

The Islamic State group claimed it had shot down an Iraqi military plane in the area, killing five crew members.

The military source said authorities had launched a search for the crew after the Cessna 208 Caravan went down near Kirkuk, around 220 kilometres (135 miles) north of Baghdad.

In a statement on Twitter, IS said it had shot down a military plane with anti-aircraft artillery and that it been on a bombing run against the city of Hawija, a stronghold of the extremists in Kirkuk province.

Iraqi forces have been making gains against the militants in recent months as they seek to reclaim territory seized by IS during a major offensive in 2014.

Source: AFP