A Sudanese military jet crashed near the city of Omdurman, killing the two pilots on board, the army said on Friday, in the latest accident to hit its ageing fleet.
The plane, which was on a night training mission, crashed late on Thursday, September 20 north of Omdurman, the twin city of the capital Khartoum on the west bank of the Nile.
“As a result of a sudden technical failure, a K-8 military training plane crashed in the Kudab area north of Omdurman after taking off from the Wadi Sidna air base in a night training flight,” Armed Forces spokesperson Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said in a statement released on Friday.
“Two pilots who were on board were killed in the crash,” AFP reported the statement as saying.
The K-8 Karakorum is a two-seat single-engine jet trainer and light attack aircraft. Initiated by China, the project later became a joint effort with Pakistan. It is manufactured by Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation of China and Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. It is known as the JiaoLian-8 (JL-8) in China.
Sudan reportedly procured its K-8s from China despite a U.N. arms embargo.
On Monday, a military helicopter crashed in the war-torn region of Darfur as it was landing after a routine mission. The helicopter caught fire, but all passengers on board were rescued, the army said, without giving any details of how many people were on board.
Most of Sudan’s air force fleet consists of Russian-manufactured aircraft, and in recent years has suffered several crashes, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.
In December 2017, a cadet pilot was killed when PT6 training aircraft crashed due to technical failure at an air base Port Sudan.
In June 2017, four crew members on board a Mi-17 military helicopter were killed when it crashed in Northern State. The military blamed bad weather conditions for the incident.
In April 2016, a Soviet-era Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed while landing in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state. All five crew members on board were killed.
The military has extensively used air power in its campaign against rebel groups in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.
Rebels often claim to have shot down military aircraft in Sudan’s conflict zones.
With reporting from AFP. This post was updated on September 21 to include details on the aircraft.