Eleven killed in South Africa military plane crash

JOHANNESBURG Thu Dec 6, 2012 5:46am EST

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Eleven people were killed when a South African military plane crashed during severe weather in a remote area of the eastern Drakensberg mountains, the defense ministry said on Thursday.

A spokesman denied reports the plane was carrying medical personnel to attend to former President Nelson Mandela, local media reported.

"On board the aircraft was a crew of six and five passengers and it was confirmed that there are no survivors," the defense ministry said in a statement.

The C-47 Dakota aircraft left an air base near Pretoria on Wednesday and was flying to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape province when it went missing, the ministry said.

Military doctors responsible for the well-being of the 94-year-old Mandela often fly to the same Eastern Cape airport before proceeding to Mandela's home in Qunu, the rural village where the anti-apartheid leader was born.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Ed Cropley)

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