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UN plane botches landing in Mali, wounding 6

A United Nations plane careened off the runway while touching down in the northern Malian city of Gao on Monday, officials said, injuring six people. 

According to Abdoulaye Maiga, a witness to the accident who works for an airport-security company, the plane had to make an emergency landing, at which point it "left the runway". 

An official with the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, known as MINUSMA, told AFP that at least six people had been hurt in the accident. 

Another MINUSMA official, who declined to be named, said that the flight had left the capital city Bamako with seven Russian nationals aboard. 

A photo circulated on social media on Monday, appearing to show a badly damaged white plane, bearing UN insignia, in a puddle of mud. 

AFP did not independently confirm the image.

UN peacekeepers deployed to Mali in July 2013, after jihadists seized much of the north of the country the previous year. 

The MINUSMA now has 13,000 troops in Mali, while France has 5,100 soldiers as part of Operation Barkhane, its anti-jihad force in the Sahel.

Despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops, the conflict has engulfed the centre of the country and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger to the west.  

Thousands of military and civilian lives have died in the conflict to date.

Topics: United Nations , plane , Abdoulaye Maiga , emergency landing , MINUSMA
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