At least 17 killed after plane misses runway and goes up in flames

At least 17 people have been killed after a military plane crashed in the Philippines on Sunday.

The plane missed a runway and crashed in the south of the country’s, the nation’s defence secretary said, adding that around 40 people had been rescued from the burning wreckage.

Delfin Lorenzana said the C-130 aircraft had gone up in flames in Bangkal village in the mountainous town of Patikul in southern Sulu province.

He said the Philippine air force plane had 92 people on board – including three pilots and five crew – meaning the status of 45 people is still unknown. The rest of those on board were army personnel.

Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana said the aircraft was transporting troops from southern Cagayan de Oro city.

Government forces have been battling Abu Sayyaf militants in predominantly Muslim Sulu province for decades.

Mr Sobejana said: ‘It’s very unfortunate.

‘The plane missed the runway and it was trying to regain power but failed and crashed.’

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

The airport in Sulu’s main town of Jolo is located a few miles from a mountainous area where troops have been battling Abu Sayyaf.

Some militants have aligned themselves with the Islamic State group.

The United States and the Philippines have separately blacklisted Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organisation for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings. It has been considerably weakened by years of government offensives but remains a threat.

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