Turkish army loses contact with plane near Syria

AFP , Friday 22 Jun 2012

Demonstrators hold opposition flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Deraa June 22, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

 The Turkish army said Friday it lost radar and radio contact with one of its aircraft on the Mediterranean near neighbouring Syria.

The plane took off from Malatya airbase in the southeast at 0730 GMT and lost communication with the base at 0858 GMT in the southwest of the Hatay province bordering Syria, the military command said in a statement posted online.

"Search and rescue efforts have started immediately," it said.NTV private news channel reported citing unnamed military sources that the plane crashed in Syrian territorial waters, but there was no violation of the Syrian border.

But the claims were not confirmed by Turkish officials. Syrian and Turkish coastal guards were collaborating to reach the plane wreck, said NTV.

Malatya governor Ulvi Saran told the Anatolia news agency that it was a F-4 plane with two pilots onboard, without elaborating further. "We have no information right now about the fate of the plane. We are following the developments," he said.


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