US Envoy To Haiti Resigns, Slams Migrant Deportations

Daniel Foote. Photo: Drew Angerer/AFP

 

 

The US special envoy to Haiti resigned Thursday two months after his appointment, denouncing the Biden administration’s deportation of Haitian migrants from the US-Mexico border back to their poverty-stricken homeland. 

“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti,” State Department envoy Daniel Foote said in a scathing letter of resignation.

In the letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foote described Haiti as a place where US diplomats “are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life.”

“Mired in poverty, hostage to the terror,” Foote wrote, the Haitian population “simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter, and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy.”

“More refugees will fuel further desperation and crime,” he wrote.

The resignation came after the administration of President Joe Biden began last weekend loading Haitian migrants who crossed into the country from Mexico onto aircraft and flying them back to haiti.

Many of the thousands who crossed the border actually travelled from South America, where some said they fled to years ago from the grinding poverty and violence of Haiti.

Thousands at the US border 

Well over 10,000 migrants, the largest part of them Haitian, flowed into the Texas border city of Del Rio in recent weeks seeking to remain in the United States.

Footage of the migrants, many of them families, massing under a highway bridge and moving back and forth to Mexico for food, have stunned America and sparked a fresh crisis over migrant policy.

Biden came under strong criticism after photographs and videos showed mounted Border Patrol officers using their horses to try and control the migrants, with some appearing to threaten migrants with their horses’ long reins.

That has led to calls from Biden’s own Democratic party to give the Haitians asylum rather than fly them back to Haiti.

On Wednesday Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he was in talks with Brazil, Chile and other South American countries to send the migrants back to them.

Tens of thousands of Haitians fled to South America after the massive 2010 earthquake wreaked heavy damage across the Caribbean nation.

Foote said in his letter that Haiti needs more assistance and a democratically chosen government, after the July assassination of president Jovenel Moise.

“What our Haitian friends really want, and need, is the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course,” he said.

Mexican Teen Boxer Dies Of Injuries Suffered In Ring

File photo of a pair of boxing gloves.

 

Jeanette Zacarias Zapata, an 18-year-old boxer from Mexico, died Thursday, five days after she was knocked out in a fight, promoter Yvon Michel said.

“It is with great sadness and torment that we learned, from a representative of her family, that Jeanette Zacarias Zapata passed away this afternoon at 3:45 p.m.,” a statement from Groupe Yvon Michel said.

Zapata took part in the GYM Gala International Boxing event Saturday in Montreal, losing to Marie Pier Houle in the fourth round of a welterweight match.

A left uppercut and right hook from Houle dazed Zapata in the fourth round.

READ ALSOMexico Sues US Gunmakers Over Arms Trafficking

Hurricane Grace Kills 8 Including Children In Mexico

She did not answer the bell for the fifth round of the scheduled six-round professional bout, and after she appeared to have a seizure she was stretchered out of the ring and taken to hospital.

“The entire team at Groupe Yvon Michel team is extremely distressed by this painful announcement,” the promoters said in their statement offering condolences to the fighter’s family and in particular her husband, Jovanni Martinez.

“Jovanni does not wish to comment,” the statement said.

Houle had posted a statement on her Facebook account Monday saying she was upset by the outcome of the bout.

“Boxing carries a lot of risks and dangers,” she said. “This is our job, our passion. Never, forever, intention to seriously hurt an opponent is part of my plans.”

AFP

Hurricane Grace Kills 8 Including Children In Mexico


A man walks in a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Grace in Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, on August 21, 2021.  VICTORIA RAZO / AFP

 

Hurricane Grace killed at least eight people, including five children from the same family, as it tore through eastern Mexico Saturday, causing flooding, mudslides and damage to homes and businesses.

The storm made landfall in Mexico for a second time near Tecolutla in Veracruz state as a major Category Three storm with winds of 125 miles (200 kilometers) per hour.

It later fizzled out as it moved inland over the central highlands, but not before causing widespread damage.

In the Veracruz state capital, Xalapa, streets were turned into muddy brown rivers.

Seven people died there and one more in the city of Poza Rica, Veracruz Governor Cuitlahuac Garcia told a news conference.

The victims included a mother and five of her children who were buried when a hillside collapsed on their small home.

“I heard a bang on the roof and I went out to look,” said their father Adan Moreno, who witnessed the tragedy.

“I heard the earth collapsing. The hill was swept away and they were all down there —  my wife and six children,” he told AFP, his voice breaking.

He dug through the mud with the help of relatives but only one child was pulled out alive.

His wife and five other children, including a two-week-old baby girl, did not survive.

READ ALSO: Mexico Sues US Gunmakers Over Arms Trafficking

 ‘It’s destroyed’ 


A man walks in a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by Hurricane Grace in Tecolutla, Veracruz, Mexico, on August 21, 2021. VICTORIA RAZO / AFP

 

The streets of Tecolutla, home to about 24,000 people, were littered with fallen trees, signs and roof panels.

Esteban Dominguez’s beachside restaurant was reduced to rubble.

“It was many years’ effort,” he said.

“Over there was my house, but it’s destroyed. I’m left with no roof or furniture,” he said.

Many homes in the region were left without electricity.

Grace dissipated as it churned inland, drenching Mexico City, but could develop into a new cyclone next week in the Pacific, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The Mexican authorities remained on alert due to the threat of rivers overflowing and landslides, mainly in Veracruz.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Nearly 8,000 civil defense members, soldiers, and electricity board workers had been put on standby ready to tackle the aftermath of the storm, he said on Friday night.

Authorities in Veracruz state said they had prepared 200 storm shelters and urged residents to hunker down in safe places.

They closed most highways in Veracruz, which are crossed by numerous rivers.

Fishermen affected

In preparation for the storm, workers along the coast boarded up windows to protect stores, fishermen brought their boats ashore and residents secured their homes after stocking up on canned food and water.

“We will spend many days without fishing — almost a week,” said Isabel Pastrana Vazquez, head of Veracruz’s federation of fisheries cooperatives.

“About 35,000 fishermen will be affected because we can’t go out,” he said.

In Casitas, a small tourist town on the coast, fisherman Domingo Hernandez said the roof had been ripped off his home.

“The whole sheet was blown off. I was there holding it,” he said, expressing relief that his boat was not damaged too.

The hurricane had already lashed Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula earlier in the week, forcing thousands of tourists to hunker down in shelters but blowing through with no loss of life.

AFP

Mexico Sues US Gunmakers Over Arms Trafficking

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 23, 2018 a man holds a sign reading “No weapons” during the march for peace and against violence in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico. – Mexico filed a lawsuit against major US gunmakers in a court in Boston on August 4, 2021 over illegal cross-border arms flows that fuel violence, the government announced. “We are going to win the trial and we are going to drastically reduce illicit arms trafficking to Mexico,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference. (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP)

 

 

Mexico filed a lawsuit against major US gunmakers in a Boston court on Wednesday over illegal cross-border arms flows that fuel rampant violence, the government announced.

“We are going to win the trial and we are going to drastically reduce illicit arms trafficking to Mexico,” Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference.

The companies named in the suit include Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Colt, Glock, Century Arms, Ruger and Barrett.

Together they manufacture more than two-thirds of the over half a million weapons that are illegally brought into Mexico each year, according to the Mexican authorities.

The flow of arms generates millions of dollars in profits each year for the American gun industry.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for the damage caused by the firms’ “negligent practices” as well as the implementation of adequate standards to “monitor and discipline” arms dealers, Ebrard said.

The Latin American country has seen more than 300,000 murders since 2006 when it deployed the military in the fight on drugs trafficking, most of them blamed on criminal gangs.

More than 17,000 murders in 2019 involved weapons illegally trafficked from the United States, according to the Mexican government.

France Thrashed By Mexico In Olympic Opener As Brazil Beat Germany

Mexico’s forward Alexis Vega (R) vies with France’s midfielder Teji Savanier during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games men’s group A first round football match between Mexico and France at Tokyo Stadium in Tokyo on July 22, 2021. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

France’s bid for men’s Olympic football glory got off to a nightmare start with a 4-1 defeat by Mexico on Thursday, while Richarlison scored a hat-trick as reigning champions Brazil beat Germany in a six-goal thriller.

Sylvain Ripoll’s France are looking for a first Olympic medal since winning gold in 1984, but collapsed in the second half at Tokyo Stadium.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result but also with the balance of our play,” said former Lorient boss Ripoll.

“To compete, we would’ve needed a big performance, but that wasn’t the case.”

Mexico took the lead less than two minutes after the break through Alexis Vega, before Sebastian Cordova doubled their advantage in the 55th minute.

The 35-year-old captain Andre-Pierre Gignac, whose last game for the French senior team was the Euro 2016 final loss to Portugal, pulled one back from the penalty spot with 21 minutes remaining.

But any thoughts of a comeback were quashed as Uriel Antuna and Eduardo Aguirre netted late on for 2012 champions Mexico.

France now face a tough task to get out of Group A with a top-two finish, ahead of games against Covid-hit South Africa on Sunday and hosts Japan on July 28.

“The first thing we now have to do is digest this disappointment,” added Ripoll. “We only have two days. There’s no time to waste.”

Japan saw off South Africa, who had two players test positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, 1-0 thanks to Takefusa Kubo’s second-half strike.

Brazil, who won gold for the first time when inspired by Neymar on home soil five years ago in Rio, downed Germany 4-2 in a dramatic match which saw forward Richarlison net a first-half hat-trick.

The Everton man scored three times inside the first half an hour, but Matheus Cunha missed a penalty and Germany then threatened an unlikely second-half comeback.

Bayer Leverkusen’s Nadiem Amiri pulled one back before the hour mark, and although Maximilian Arnold was sent off shortly afterwards, substitute Ragnar Ache cut the deficit to one goal with seven minutes of the 90 left.

But it was another Leverkusen player, Paulinho, who came off the bench and put the match to bed for Brazil in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Ivory Coast also picked up three points in Group D as AC Milan’s Franck Kessie netted the match-clinching goal in a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia.

– Spain held by Egypt –

Spain struggled in Sapporo, as a team featuring six players who reached the Euro 2020 semi-finals dominated possession but created few chances in a 0-0 draw with Egypt.

The closest they came to a goal was when Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who recently spent two seasons on loan at Arsenal, crashed a first-half shot against the post.

Spain, winners on home soil in 1992, next take on Australia in three days’ time before their final Group C match with Argentina.

Australia took early control in the table, as goals from Lachlan Wales and Marco Tilio saw them beat 10-man Argentina 2-0.

New Zealand made a successful start in Group B as Burnley striker Chris Wood, one of the three over-age players in the squad, secured a 1-0 victory over South Korea in Kashima with his 72nd-minute winner.

It was their first-ever win in Olympic football, having managed just one draw in each of the 2008 and 2012 tournaments.

An own goal saw Romania edge out Honduras 1-0 in the group’s other game.

AFP

FIFA Sanctions Mexico For Homophobic Chant

Fifa, World Cup Draw

Mexico will play two home games in empty stadiums after they were sanctioned and fined by the FIFA disciplinary commission for homophobic chants, the Mexican football federation said Friday.

“We have received a sanction from FIFA for the shouts heard during the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the Olympic Games,” federation president Yon de Luisa told reporters.

The qualifiers were held in March at the Akron and Jalisco stadiums in Guadalajara in western Mexico.

READ ALSO: Ronaldo’s Coca-Cola Snub: Sports Stars Are ‘Reclaiming Their Voice’

The sanctions, which include a fine of around $65,000, are linked in particular to Mexico’s games against the Dominican Republic and the United States, De Luisa said.

He urged Mexican fans to cease all anti-gay slurs.

“We must stop this now,” he said.

“The effect can be devastating for the Mexican football industry. Let it be the last sanction that FIFA gives us.”

Mexico has been repeatedly sanctioned over the years for a homophobic slur shouted by fans at the opposing team’s keeper.

De Luisa said that if the chants continued Mexico was in danger of being disqualified from the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and losing its role as joint host of the 2026 World Cup.

AFP

Mexico President Names New Finance, Central Bank Chiefs

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers a press conference about the results of Sunday’s midterm elections at the National Palace in Mexico City on June 7, 2021. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AE / AFP)

 

 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that he would nominate his finance minister to head the central bank, replacing him with an economic advisor.

The move came days after Lopez Obrador suffered a setback in midterm legislative elections in which his ruling party lost its absolute majority in the lower house of Congress.

Finance Minister Arturo Herrera “will be proposed as governor of the Bank of Mexico,” Lopez Obrador announced on social media, noting that the nomination must be approved by the Senate.

His replacement is Rogelio Ramirez de la O, an ally and economic consultant.

Lopez Obrador, who has vowed to overhaul Mexico’s “neoliberal” economic model, said the changes were aimed at maintaining the current economic policy in his remaining three years in office.

“It has given us very good results because despite the pandemic, the economic crisis has been overcome,” he said in a video message.

Lopez Obrador has kept a tight grip on the public purse strings during the pandemic, saying it would be imprudent to increase the national debt.

The president last month ruled out asking central bank chief Alejandro Diaz de Leon to stay on past the end of the year, saying he would be replaced by an economist with a “social dimension.”

Mexico’s economy, the second-largest in Latin America, plunged by 8.5 percent in 2020 in the worst slump in decades, although the government predicts growth of 6.5 percent this year.

Appearing alongside Lopez Obrador in the video, Ramirez de la O said that Mexico faced a “key moment” as it emerged from the pandemic and a global recession.

“We must all work together to ensure that the lessons learned during this pandemic are used to build a stronger economy that serves the entire country,” he said.

Super Eagles To Play Mexico On July 3 In Los Angeles

Super Eagles of Nigeria

 

 

The Super Eagles will take on CONCACAF Gold Cup champions Mexico in a friendly at the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the State of California, the United States of America on Saturday, 3rd July 2021.

The match, which kicks off at 7.30 pm LA time will be the sixth confrontation between the senior teams of both countries, four of which have ended in draws. The only win in the series has gone to Mexico, when they trumped a US Gold Cup encounter in Dallas (State of Texas) 2-1 on 24th June 1995. Jonathan Akpoborie scored Nigeria’s only goal.

Other confrontations include a 1-1 draw at the FIFA Intercontinental Tournament for the King Fahd Cup (now FIFA Confederations Cup) in Saudi Arabia on 13th January 1995 (Mexico prevailed 5-4 on penalties in the quarter-final match), and 0-0 draws in friendly matches in Houston and Atlanta the previous decade. A friendly game in Mexico also ended 2-2.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, simply known as the LA Coliseum, is a 77,500 –capacity facility that has hosted major international championships of all grades, including the 1996 Men’s Olympics Football Tournament (won by Nigeria) and CONCACAF Gold Cup matches. The COCACAF Gold Cup is that continent’s equivalent of the Africa Cup of Nations finals and determines the continental champion of North America, Central America, and the Caribbeans.

Mexico is the most successful team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with eight titles and are the current Cup holders.

Nigeria have won the Africa Cup of Nations three times and qualified for six of the last seven FIFA World Cup finals, reaching the Round of 16 in 1994, 1998, and 2014. The Super Eagles finished as bronze medallists at the last AFCON in Egypt two years ago.

NFF’s FIFA Match Agent, Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Sport, said: “We are happy to be able to announce this match, which is a clash between two very big teams from two different continents. Mexico against Nigeria is a big match any day and the venue is class.”

The two teams will announce their squads for the match in June.

20 Dead, Dozens Hurt As Elevated Train Collapses In Mexico

Rescue workers remove a body from a train carriage after an elevated metro line collapsed in Mexico City on May 4, 2021. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

 

 

An elevated metro line collapsed in the Mexican capital on Monday, leaving at least 20 people dead and dozens injured as a train came crashing down, authorities said.

Carriages were seen hanging from the overpass in a tangle of twisted cables with the ends pointing towards the ground in a V-shape.

“Unfortunately there are 20 people dead so far,” including minors, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters at the scene in the south of the capital.

 

Rescue workers gather at the site of a train accident after an elevated metro line collapsed in Mexico City on May 4, 2021. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

 

The city’s civil defense department said on Twitter that around 70 others were injured in the dramatic accident, one of the worst to strike the Mexico City metro since it was inaugurated in 1969.

Security camera footage broadcast by local media showed the carriages plunging towards the ground.

Dozens of emergency workers were seen trying to rescue victims from the carriages.

 

 

Rescue workers remove a body from a train carriage after an elevated metro line collapsed in Mexico City on May 4, 2021. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

But the work later had to be paused because of fears the wreckage was too unstable.

“For now the rescue has been suspended because the train is very weak. A crane is coming to continue” the work, Sheinbaum said.

A car was trapped under the rubble, but a person inside the viaduct managed to get out alive, she said.

“Suddenly I saw that the structure was shaking,” an unidentified witness told the Mexican television network Televisa.

“When the dust cleared we ran… to see if we could help. There were no screams. I don’t know if they were in shock,” she added.

Medics were seen taking the injured away on stretchers.

The casualties were rushed to different hospitals in the city, Sheinbaum said.

The accident occurred when a section of the elevated tracks collapsed at the Olivos station at around 10:00 pm (0300 GMT), she said.

 

Rescue workers gather at the site of a train accident after an elevated metro line collapsed in Mexico City on May 4, 2021. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

 

The Mexico City subway has 12 lines and carries millions of passengers each day.

Line 12, where the accident struck, was inaugurated in October 2012 by then mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who is now foreign minister.

Writing on Twitter, Ebrard offered his cooperation with the investigation to establish the causes and responsibility for what he called a “terrible tragedy.”

In one of the worst accidents on the network, two metro trains rammed into each other leaving 23 dead and 55 injured in October 1975.

 

Members of the Mexican Red Cross carry an injured man on a stretcher after an overpass for a metro partially collapsed in Mexico City on May 3, 2021. – At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured when an elevated metro line collapsed in the Mexican capital on May 3 as a train was passing, authorities said. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP)

 

 

Emergency workers carry an injured person away on a stretcher after an overpass for a metro partially collapsed in Mexico City on May 3, 2021. – At least 15 people were killed and dozens injured as an elevated metro line collapsed in the Mexican capital on May 3 as a train was passing, authorities said. (Photo by Pedro PARDO / AFP)

 

The latest incident comes just over a year after two subway trains collided in Mexico City, leaving one dead and around 40 injured as panicked passengers escaped through dense smoke.

Social media footage showed panic at the scene of that accident in the city center as lights went out, the ventilation system was interrupted and the station filled with smoke.

In another incident in January of this year, one person died and 29 suffered smoke inhalation injuries in a fire in the metro’s control center.

 

Rescue workers gather at the site of a metro train accident after an overpass for a metro partially collapsed in Mexico City on May 3, 2021. – At least 13 people were killed and dozens injured in a metro train accident in the Mexican capital on May 3, the authorities said. (Photo by Pedro PARDO / AFP)

 

The latest accident comes at a time when Mexico is struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 217,000 people dead in the country — one of the world’s highest tolls.

Pfizer Confirms Fake Vaccine Shots On Sale In Mexico, Poland

Empty vials of different vaccines by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and AstraZeneca against Covid-19 caused by the novel coronavirus are pictured at the vaccination center in Rosenheim, southern Germany, on April 20, 2021, amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.
Christof STACHE / AFP

 

US drugmaker Pfizer on Wednesday confirmed that suspect doses of its coronavirus vaccine that were seized in Mexico and Poland were indeed fake, with doses going for as much as $1,000 a shot, according to US media.

At a clinic in Mexico some 80 people received bogus doses of the drug, which appeared to have been physically harmless, though offering no protection against the potentially deadly disease ravaging the country, a report in the Wall Street Journal said.

The vials were found in beer coolers and were initially identified by fabricated lot numbers and expiration dates, Mexican officials said.

The liquid in the confiscated vials in Poland was a cosmetic substance, thought to be anti-wrinkle cream, the company said.

“We are cognizant that in this type of environment — fueled by the ease and convenience of e-commerce and anonymity afforded by the internet — there will be an increase in the prevalence of fraud, counterfeit and other illicit activity as it relates to vaccines and treatments for Covid-19,” a Pfizer spokesperson told ABC News.

In February, health authorities in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon warned about “clandestine” sales of “alleged Covid vaccines” and urged people not to take them.

In March, the World Health Organization also warned of “falsified” Pfizer vaccines found in Mexico and warned that the shots “may still be in circulation in the region.”

Pfizer tested the bogus vials and found they did not contain the two-shot vaccine it developed with BioNTech.

Lev Kubiak, Pfizer’s head of global security, said the desperate need and the shortfall in vaccines had led to the scams.

“We have a very limited supply, a supply that will increase as we ramp up and other companies enter the vaccine space. In the interim, there is a perfect opportunity for criminals,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Mexico is also examining a shipment of 6,000 doses of what is claimed to be the Russian vaccine Sputnik that were seized on a private plane headed for Honduras last month, the newspaper said.

-AFP

5.7 Magnitude Quake Rattles Mexico

The map of Mexico.

 

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 struck central Mexico on Friday, seismologists said, triggering alarms in the capital where anxious residents poured into the streets.

Despite the panic, there were no immediate reports of injuries or significant damage.

The quake struck 59 kilometres (37 miles) southeast of San Marcos in Guerrero state at a depth of 19 kilometres, according to the national seismology service.

The tremor triggered Mexico City’s alarm system, which uses seismic monitors to give residents advance warning of a quake.

READ ALSO: Erdogan Chastises Biden For ‘Killer’ Putin Comment

But in the end, it was barely felt in the capital, where city authorities said there were no reports of damage.

In the resort of Acapulco, located in Guerrero state closer to the epicentre, the tremor was felt more strongly, causing tourists to flee their hotels.

“It caught us off guard and we panicked thinking we should leave urgently but I couldn’t get out because one of my daughters was taking a bath,” said Virginia Hernandez, a tourist from Mexico City.

Mexico is frequently shaken by earthquakes, particularly along its Pacific coast.

In 2017 the capital was hit by a 7.1 magnitude tremor that toppled buildings and left 370 people dead and thousands injured throughout the country.

AFP

Six Mexican Military Personnel Killed In Air Crash

View of a Mexican Air Force plane after it crashed near the airport of Xalapa, Veracruz state, Mexico, on February 21, 2021. EDUARDO MURILLO / AFP
View of a Mexican Air Force plane after it crashed near the airport of Xalapa, Veracruz state, Mexico, on February 21, 2021. EDUARDO MURILLO / AFP

 

Six military personnel have died after the airplane they were traveling in crashed on takeoff in eastern Mexico, the defense secretariat said on Sunday.

The Airforce LearJet 45 crashed at around 1545 GMT after taking off from Emiliano Zapata in Veracruz state, the secretariat said in a statement.

READ ALSO: NCAA Lifts Ban On Boeing 737 Max Aircraft

The secretariat’s accident investigation commission will join the army and air force to “carry out the corresponding expert reports to determine possible causes,” the statement said.

No details were given about the identity of the military personnel, nor why they were aboard the flight.

“We express our deepest condolences to our comrades in arms,” said the secretariat.