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Hollande: 'Not ruling out' terrorism after Mali crash

French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech on flight AH5017. Credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

French president Francois Hollande has said all avenues are being discussed after flight AH5017 crashed in the northern Mali desert, killing 116 people.

Nearly half of the passengers aboard the flight were French, many heading to Europe.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Hollande said that France will spare no efforts to find out what had happened.

"There are hypotheses, notably weather-related, but we don't rule out anything because we want to know what happened," the French president said.

Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve added: "Terrorist groups are in the zone. ... We know these groups are hostile to Western interests."

Foreign Office: British man died on crashed AH5107

A British man died onboard Air Algerie flight AH 5107, which crashed in the northern Malian desert killing least 116 people, the Foreign Office have said today.

It is with deep regret that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirms the death of a British man onboard Air Algerie flight AH 5107.

We are providing consular support to his family at this tragic time, and we ask that the media respect the privacy of those grieving.

– Foreign Office Spokesperson

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'It will be very difficult to find all the bodies'

Part of the wreckage from Air Algerie AH5017. Credit: AP

Air Algerie AH5017 crash investigators have said that it will be "very difficult to find all the bodies."

Speaking to reporters, General Gilbert Diendere, presidential aide and head of the crisis committee said:

There are French troops on site to secure a perimeter, to allow eventual investigators.

Concerning the bodies, you heard earlier (from the crisis committee meeting), it is very difficult because the bodies are scattered and I think it will be very, very difficult to find all the bodies.

– General Gilbert Diendere

All 118 passengers and crew were killed after the plane went down in the West African state of Mali.

First images show twisted metal at Air Algerie crash site

The first images of the Air Algerie plane crash site in Mali show twisted metal and door panels lying in the sand.

French officials have said that they believed poor weather was the most likely cause of the crash in which 116 people died.

A soldier stands guard at the Mali plan crash site. Credit: APTN
The wreckage lies in the field as another helicopter arrives at the scene. Credit: APTN
A plane panel with 'Elevator Hinge Access' lies in the desert. Credit: APTN
Wreckage from the crashed Air Algerie crash lies in the desert. Credit: APTN

'Ten family members' believed killed in Air Algerie crash

Ten people from the same family are believed to have died in the Air Algerie plane crash, AFP are reporting.

All 118 passengers and crew were killed after the plane went down in the West African state of Mali.

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France: Flight AH5017 broke apart upon hitting ground

An Air Algerie Airways plane preparing to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers yesterday. Credit: Reuters

Air Algerie flight AH5017 broke apart when it hit the ground, French investigators have concluded.

The finding suggests the cause of the crash is unlikely to have been an attack.

"We think the aircraft crashed for reasons linked to the weather conditions, although no theory can be excluded at this point," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told RTL radio.

Air Algerie flight 'crashed after being struck by lightning'

A group of herders who say they saw Air Algerie flight AH5017 crash claim it went down after being struck by lightning, local officials told Reuters.

Louis Berthaud, a community counsellor in Gossi near where the plane carrying 116 people went down, said: "The herders were in the bush and saw the plane fall."

He added: "It must have been a storm and it was struck by lightning. They said it was on fire as it fell, before it crashed."

At the moment the cause of the crash appears to be bad weather but French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said no hypothesis, including terrorist attacks, had been excluded.

France send military unit to AH5017 wreckage scene

France has sent a military unit to secure the site of the wreckage of the Air Algerie flight which was carrying 51 French nationals.

There were 110 passengers on the plane, which crashed in Mali, plus six crew members. All the crew are thought to be Spanish.

A statement from French President Francois Hollande's office said."A French military unit has been sent to secure the site and gather the first elements of information."

Two days of mourning for flight AH5017 victims

An Air Algerie plane like the one which crashed in Mali. Credit: Reuters

Burkina Faso's government has said the country will observe 48 hours of mourning for the victims of Air Algerie flight AH5017.

The plane crashed on Thursday with 116 on board. The wreckage has now been located in Mali but there are not thought to be any survivors.

More than half of the passengers were French with 51 nationals counted on the manifesto.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said: "If this catastrophe is confirmed, it would be a major tragedy that hits our entire nation, and many others."

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