Troop plane crashes into sea

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The Independent Online
Colombo - An air force plane carrying troops to Sri Lanka's northern war zone crashed into the sea near Colombo raising fears about the army's proposed assault on the Tamil guerrilla stronghold of Jaffna. A defence spokesman said the passenger list included 68 army personnel, two police officers and five crew.

Western diplomats said the government was studying several possible reasons for the crash of the Russian-built Antonov shortly after it took off from Colombo's domestic Ratmalana airport. They said there was apparently no distress signal as it went down. "This indicates all sorts of possibilities, including bad weather or sabotage," one diplomat said. Reuter