Sudan plane makes emergency landing in Saudi

Riyadh: A Sudanese Antonov aircraft made an emergency landing in Saudi Arabia after takeoff from a base used to bomb rebels in Yemen, the kingdom’s aviation regulator said, without reporting injuries.

The propellor-driven An-12 transport plane “made an emergency and safe landing” today at Baha airport in southwest Saudi Arabia, the General Authority of Civil Aviation said.

Baha is about 300 kilometres north of Khamis Mushait, home to the airbase which has been at the forefront of a bombing campaign by a Saudi-led Arab coalition against rebels in neighbouring Yemen.

The plane was en route to the Sudanese capital Khartoum with 10 crew members, the aviation authority said.

It said the Antonov, an aircraft designed in the former Soviet Union, had engine failure and its tyres had burst on landing in Baha, without specifying if it was a civilian or military model of the plane.

Sudan, one of several Arab countries in the coalition, has deployed troops and aircraft against the Yemeni rebels.

Khartoum has regularly used modified Antonovs to bomb insurgents on its own territory.

In April, a Sudanese military Antonov-26 crashed in the country’s restive North Kordofan, killing all five crew members.