WRECKAGE from the Air Algerie flight AH5017 has been found 30 miles north of the Mali-Burkina Faso border.

The MD83 plane lost contact with air traffic control yesterday, just an hour into its flight from Burkina Faso to Algeria.

The plane is said to have “clearly changed direction due to bad weather,” but it is unclear whether this caused the crash.

French officials have ruled out the possibility that it was shot down from the ground, but there is still speculation that the crash may be linked to the Tuareg separatist group, which now controls two thirds of Mali.

Of the 110 passengers on board, Algerian press reports that there were 51 French, 27 Burkina Faso nationals, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two Luxembourg nationals, one Swiss, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian.

The aircraft is owned by Spanish airline Swiftair, and all six crew members were Spanish.

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