11 killed as Libyan military plane crashes in Tunisia
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
- NEW: A Libyan deputy minister and senior Islamist figure is among those killed
- NEW: An investigation shows that one of the engines was on fire, Libyan culture minister says
- All 11 people on board the Libyan military plane died when it crashed in Tunisia
- The Antonov aircraft was flying from Mitiga Airport in Libya, state media report
(CNN) -- A Libyan military plane crashed in Tunisia's Nabeul province Friday, killing all 11 people on board, the Libyan government said.
The plane was carrying five crew members, a doctor, three patients and two others who were accompanying them on the flight, Libyan officials said.
Among those killed was Sheikh Muftah Mabrook al Dwadi, a senior Islamist figure and deputy minister of Libya's Ministry of Martyrs' Affairs, the Libyan air force said.
Col. Ali Sheikhi, a Libyan military spokesman, said the plane crashed amid "mysterious circumstances."
The Libyan air force said an engine caught fire as the plane made a gradual descent into Tunis Carthage airport and the pilot tried to land it before reaching the airport.
Libya's culture minister, speaking on behalf of the government, confirmed the death of all 11 on board and also said an initial investigation indicated one of the engines was on fire, leading the whole plane to catch fire and crash.
A plane is being sent to bring the bodies of the victims home, the minister said in a post on the official Twitter account of Libya's interim government.
The director of Libya's civil aviation authority has been dispatched to Tunis to coordinate the investigation with Tunisian authorities, he said.
"We express our condolences to victims' families and hope investigations will reveal reasons behind the crash," he tweeted.
The Libyan aircraft came down about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the capital, Tunis, near the town of Grombalia, Tunisian state news agency TAP reported.
Army units, a military medical team and civil protection workers were sent to the scene of the crash, the news agency said.
The plane was an Antonov An-26, which was flying from Mitiga Airport in Libya, TAP said.
Libyan officials said the plane, part of the country's air force, was used as an air ambulance to transport patients inside and outside of Libya.
Many Libyans are sent outside the country for treatment because of the poor state of health care in Libya. Libya borders Tunisia to the east.
CNN's Saad Abedine contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 20, 2014 -- Updated 2357 GMT (0757 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
November 17, 2014 -- Updated 1738 GMT (0138 HKT)
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
November 16, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.