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Laos military plane crashes with Defense Minister Douangchay Phichit and other senior officials on board


A military plane with Laos’ Defense Minister and Deputy PM Douangchay Phichit and other senior officials on board has crashed in the north of the country.

The plane crashed in the province of Xiangkhouang, nearly 300 miles from the capital Vientiane where its journey began.

A military plane with Laos' Defense Minister and Deputy PM Douangchay Phichit and other senior officials on board has crashed in the north of the country

A military plane with Laos’ Defense Minister and Deputy PM Douangchay Phichit and other senior officials on board has crashed in the north of the country

About 20 people, including the mayor of Vientiane and public security minister, are thought to have been on board.

According to local reports, five bodies have been found at the scene. Other reports say up to three passengers had survived.

Major General Douangchay Phichit is reportedly dead.

The officials are believed to have been travelling to an official ceremony in Xieng Khouang for the 55th anniversary of the Second Division of the Lao People’s Army.

Laos, a landlocked country of about seven million people, has an authoritarian communist one-party government and is one of Asia’s poorest nations.

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