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Cuban military plane crash kills eight troops, ministry says

A Cuban military plane crashed into a hillside on Saturday morning in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight troops on board, the government said.

In a written statement, the ministry of the revolutionary armed forces said the Soviet-made, twin-engined turboprop Antonov AN-26 took off from the Playa Baracoa airport outside Havana at 6.38am and crashed into a hillside outside the town of Candelaria about 40 miles away.

“The eight military personnel on board, including the crew, died,” the statement published by state-run media said. “A commission … is investigating the causes of the accident.”

Officials did not immediately release any further information.

The majority of planes flown in Cuba were produced in the Soviet Union. Antonov produced the AN-26 planes in Kiev between 1969 and 1986.

The last major plane crash in Cuba was an Aero Caribbean flight that went down in flames in 2010, killing all 68 people aboard. That plane was a European-manufactured ATR-72-212.

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