Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

Authorities say a flight operated by Air Algerie carrying 110 passengers and a crew of six has disappeared from the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers.

The official Algerian news agency said air navigation services lost track of the Swiftair plane 50 minutes after takeoff -- at 0155 GMT. Flight AH5017 had been missing for hours before news was made public.

Swiftair, the private Spanish airline, confirmed that 116 people were aboard.

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"In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan," the agency quoted the airline as saying.

The flight path of the plane from Ouagadougou, the capital of the west African nation of Burkina Faso, to Algiers was not immediately clear.

Ougadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.

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However, a senior French official said it was unlikely that fighters in Mali had weaponry that could shoot down a plane. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak for attribution, said the fights have shoulder-fired weapons which could not hit an aircraft at cruising altitude.

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