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updated: 10/15/2012 7:54 AM

Yemen: Jetfighter crashes, killing pilot

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Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen -- Yemen's defense ministry says a Russian-made jetfighter has crashed immediately after takeoff during a training mission, killing its pilot.

The ministry's online newspaper said the MiG-21 aircraft crashed Monday inside al-Annad air base in the southern province of Lahj due to technical failure.

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It said the jet's pilot, Col. Atiq al-Akhali, was killed and a trainee was injured.

Al-Annad air base is the biggest in the country. It hosts a group of U.S. military advisers helping Yemeni troops fighting the local branch of al-Qaida, considered by the U.S. to be the terror network's most dangerous offshoot.

Yemen's air force has carried out strikes during the military's offensive against al-Qaida.

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