October 7, 2007 / 11:08 AM / 12 years ago

Syrian plane crashes near Damascus, 3 killed

(Updates casualties)

DAMASCUS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - A small aircraft used by the Syrian military crashed on Sunday near Damascus killing three people, witnesses and the official news agency said.

A technical fault caused the crash of the Navajo plane, which belonged to a department linked to the Syrian military, the agency said.

"The accident killed the crew of three," the agency said.

Three people wearing military uniforms were pulled out of the wreckage among olive trees in the Muadamiet al-Sham district, 7 km (4 miles) west of Damascus.

"The plane was swaying violently before it hit the ground," said a resident of the area.

"It came down among gardens and did not hit houses," said Mohammad Nasser, another witness.

Another witness saw a truck carrying the wreckage to the Mezzeh military airport. He said he saw no military markings on the plane.

The crash came at a time of heightened tension between Syria and Israel, which carried out an air strike deep inside Syrian territory on Sept 6. Both sides have given little information about the target.

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