Buhari expresses sympathy for 257 killed in Algeria

He said Nigerians are keeping the families and friends of the deceased in their thoughts and prayers.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his sympathy to the Algerian government over the death of the 257 people who were killed in a plane crash on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

An Algerian military plane crashed and caught fire on Wednesday killing 257 people, mostly army personnel and members of their families.

In a statement issued by the president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he sent his condolence to Algerian president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and the people of the country.

He said Nigerians are keeping the families and friends of the deceased in their thoughts and prayers.

The statement read, "On behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President @MBuhari commiserates with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the people of Algeria on Wednesday’s military plane crash near the Boufarik military airport in Algiers which claimed many lives.

"The President also extends deepest condolences to the families and friends of bereaved Algerians and other nationals, who are in sorrow because of the tragedy.

"President Buhari assures President Bouteflika and those who lost their loved ones of the sympathy of all Nigerians in their moment of grief.

"The President affirms that the thoughts and prayers of all Nigerians are with all who mourn, even as he prays that God Almighty will comfort the bereaved, the nation of Algeria and grant eternal rest to the souls of those who died in the crash."

Algeria's worst-ever air disaster

The Ilyushin II-76 transport plane, which was bound for Tindouf, crashed about 25 kilometres southwest of Algiers, the capital city. The government has declared three days of national mourning for Algeria's worst-ever air disaster.

Deputy Defence Minister General Ahmed Gaid Salah has ordered an investigation into the circumstances of the crash as the cause of the accident remains unknown.