Warplane downed over Benghazi

2011-03-19 10:32
Benghazi - A warplane crashed in flames on Saturday on the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi after apparently being shot down, an AFP reporter witnessed.

The plane, which had been heard flying over the city for several minutes was suddenly spotted with flames coming from the right rear, before it fell on a residential area south of the city.

A pilot could be seen ejecting as the plane spiralled toward earth.

The aircraft appeared to be a Russian-built MiG-23, of a type that is used by the Libyan air force, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

However, some Libyan government units defected to the rebels after the revolt broke out a month ago.

After the plane crashed, celebratory gunfire could be heard from rebel fighters inside Benghazi.

Loud explosions continued to sound after the plane was downed.

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