A military plane transporting troops has crashed in the southern Philippines after missing the runway during landing on Sunday, the military chief said.
General Cirilito Sobejana told reporters that at least 40 people have been rescued from the burning wreckage of the C-130, which crashed as it tried to land on Jolo Island, 1,000km (621 miles) south of the capital Manila.
“Responders are at the site now. We are praying we can save more lives,” Sobejana said.
“It’s very unfortunate. The plane missed the runway, and it was trying to regain power but failed and crashed.”
Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan reporting from the capital, Manila said medivac helicopters have been deployed to the crash site to transport the injured to nearby hospital.
“The C-130 is one of the newly-acquired planes by the Philippines air force last February. The area where the crashed happened is home to one of the huge bases of the Philippines military. So transporting personnel is almost routine,” Alindogan added.
C-130 aircraft, the work horses of the air force, are used to transport troops and supplies. They are also often deployed to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The accident comes after a Black Hawk helicopter crashed last month during a night-time training flight, killing all six on board.
Three pilots and three airmen died when their S70-i went down near the Crow Valley training range north of Manila, prompting the grounding of the entire fleet.
The Philippines ordered 16 of the multi-role aircraft from a Polish firm that made them under licence from the Sikorsky division of US defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
Eleven have been delivered since late 2020.
Kaduna Governor El-Rufai Wants Carpet Bombing of Forests to Eliminate Bandits in Northwest Nigeria
Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has declared that the military must launch a grand offensive against armed bandits in the North-west in order to free the region of the scourge of kidnapping perpetrated by bandits.
He said though the military had sustained the decimation of the criminal elements using air strikes and ground troops, insufficient attack aircraft and troops had derailed a final clearance operation.
This is coming as the Kaduna State chief security officer raised the alarm that bandits were planning to attack his children’s school and kidnap them.
Speaking in an interview with the British Broadcasting Service (BBC), el-Rufai said a military-led offensive must be initiated to eliminate once and for all bandits operating in North-west forests.
“We must kill all the bandits who must go to the forest and carpet bomb and kill everyone there. This has been our position for the past two years. I’m happy to say that this is being done, not in the coordinated manner that I wanted, because I wanted this to happen at the same time in all seven states of the North-west.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have enough planes. We don’t have enough soldiers. We don’t have enough to do this simultaneously. So it’s been done gradually, but there has been a lot of degradation of the bandits”, he said.
“I assure you we are killing them. We are wiping out their camps, and the military and the the the air force particularly and the Nigerian army with special forces have been doing a great job.
“Many people don’t know how many attempted kidnaps we have foiled many people don’t know because we don’t talk about it. They only know the ones that have succeeded”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State chief executive has withdrawn his children from Kaduna Capital School following security reports of a plot by bandits to attack the school and kidnap his children.
He told BBC that available security reports revealed that three bandit groups were planning to abduct his son from the school, a situation which he also noted would expose other children to danger.
The governor, had, in a bid to revamp public education in the state enrolled two of his children, Abubakar Sadiq and his younger sister, Nasrine.
“My son is registered in the school because his sister also became six years of age and we registered her in the school but we’ve had to temporarily withdraw them for the security of the school because we got intercept from at least two groups that are planning to attack the school to kidnap my son.
“I don’t think they will succeed because there will be enough security there to prevent it but other children may be placed in danger. We have no idea what weapons they will come with,” he said.
The governor said the children, who had taken to home study, were withdrawn from school following security reports made available to him.
Governor el-Rufai said the state government had maintained its position against payment of ransom to kidnappers.
The governor had disclosed in an earlier media interview that the plot to abduct his children was designed to see if he would not pay ransom.
“We have a feeling that the renewed attacks in Kaduna are not unconnected to the position that we have taken as a government that we will not negotiate with criminals.
“We will not give them any money and they will not make any profit from Kaduna. Anyone that comes to Kaduna will not get a penny from the state government, except he will get a bullet instead.”
Seven killed in Chikun, Kajuru, Giwa LGAs
In a related development yesterday, armed bandits reportedly killed seven persons within the last 72 hours in Chikun, Kajuru and Giwa local government areas of Kaduna State, an official of the state said last night
According to him, the developments were reported to the Kaduna State Government by security agencies on yesterday.
The source said the bandits shot four kidnapped citizens at the outskirts of Tsohon Gayan general area of Chikun LGA.
“Two were identified as Solomon Bamaiyi and Francis Moses from Kakau village of the same LGA. The third was identified as being from Kachia town and the fourth remains unidentified.
“In I Station, Kajuru LGA, two citizens, Reuben Tanko and Sani Jibrin were also shot dead by a group of armed bandits.
“One Danjuma Alhaji, a native of Tsohon Farakwai of Igabi LGA was similarly killed by bandits at the outskirts of Galadima general area of Giwa LGA”, he added.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai was said to have sent condolences to their families and prayed for the repose of their souls.
“Furthermore, security agencies have carried out confidence building visit to Iri Station, where some citizens were killed and an unspecified number kidnapped.
“The Commissioner Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who led the delegation assured the community of government’s commitment to the security and peace of the general area”, the official explained.
He also said that collaboration between communities and security agencies is critical and must be cultivated towards enhancing security in areas that are difficult to access across the state.
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja