Anti-aircraft missile hits UN plane carrying food aid in Angola

Anti-aircraft missile hits UN plane carrying food aid in Angola

A Boeing 727 operated by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - and clearly marked as such - was hit today by anti-aircraft missile while approaching Luena airport, in eastern Angola.

The plane, which was about 10 kilometres out of the airport and at an altitude of 15,000 feet, was hit in one of its engines, a UN spokesman told the press in New York.

"Although badly damaged, the crew managed to regain control of the plane and landed it safely at Luena," spokesman Fred Eckhard said. "WFP is conducting an investigation and has suspended air operations into Luena, at least for today."

Luena is one of the many towns in Angola that WFP can only supply by air, the spokesman said. "Right now, WFP tells us that they have supplies in Luena to cover the next four to five weeks."