A bomb fell from an Iraqi Sukhoi warplane and exploded in eastern Baghdad on Monday because of a “technical problem”, killing at least seven people, security and medical officials said.

“One of the bombs became stuck because of a technical problem, and during its (the aircraft’s) return to base it fell on three houses in Baghdad Jadida,” security spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said in a statement.

The jet was coming back from a bombing run when the accident occurred, Maan said.

Officials said that the blast, which occurred near the Rasheed air base, also wounded at least 11 people.

The Sukhoi Su-25s are robust aircraft designed for ground attack missions, but Iraq’s Sukhoi fleet is made up of ageing planes that have seen heavy use as Baghdad’s forces battle to push the Takfiri militants back.

The US agreed to sell Iraq 36 F-16 warplanes, but none have been delivered so far.

The first batch of the jets has instead been sent to Arizona, where Iraqi F-16 pilots are training.

One of the pilots, Brigadier Rasid Mohammed Sadiq, was killed in a crash during an aerial refueling exercise at the end of June.

 

AFP

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