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A U.S. military refueling plane exploded in mid air and crashed in southern Kyrgyzstan on Friday, the Central Asian country’s Emergencies Ministry said.

The aircraft took off from the U.S. military transit center at Kyrgyzstan’s international Manas airport, which U.S. forces maintain for operations in Afghanistan, the Interfax news agency reported.

The plane, used for inflight refueling, disappeared from radar screens at 3.10 p.m. (0910 GMT), as it flew near the Kyrgyz village of Chaldovar, the ministry said.

“(The plane) caught fire in the air and crashed,” said a ministry official responsible for the southern Kyrgyz province of Chuisk, where Chaldovar is located, some 60 km (40 miles) from the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.

Read more at Reuters

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