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Malawian Soldiers Search For Missing Military Plane Carrying Vice President 

Soldiers and rescuers are searching mountainous forests near a city in northern Malawi after a military plane carrying the country’s vice president and a former first lady went missing in the area Monday, President Lazarus Chakwera said.

The plane carrying 51-year-old Vice President Saulos Chilima, former first lady Shanil Dzimbiri and eight others left Lilongwe, at 9:17 a.m. and had been expected to land 45 minutes later at Mzuzu International Airport, about 370 kilometers (230 miles) to the north.

A search was underway Monday after aviation officials in Malawi lost contact with a military plane that had the country’s vice president and nine others aboard.

But air traffic control told it to not attempt a landing and to turn around because of bad weather and poor visibility, Chakwera said in an address broadcast live on state TV channel MBC.

Air traffic control lost contact with the aircraft and it disappeared from radar a short time later, he said.

“I know this is a heartbreaking situation. I know we are all frightened and concerned. I too am concerned,” Chakwera said. “But I want to assure you that I am sparing no available resource to find that plane. And I am holding onto every fiber of hope that we will find survivors.”

AP

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