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Morocco says fighter jet missing after Yemen sortie


morocco mapMorocco said Monday that one of its warplanes taking part in Saudi-led air strikes against Yemeni rebels was missing along with its pilot, and that a search operation was underway.

Contact was lost with the F-16 jet and its one-man crew at 6 pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday, the official MAP news agency reported, citing an armed forces statement.

“A second plane which was flying in formation was not able to see whether the pilot ejected,” it added.

A Saudi official said that an investigation was trying to “determine where exactly the plane came down”.

“It is certainly on Yemeni territory and had a single pilot on board,” the Saudi official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It is the first coalition aircraft to have been reported missing over Yemen in the more than six-week bombing campaign launched on March 26.

According to Moroccan press reports, the kingdom has deployed a squadron of six F-16s for the operation.

Riyadh is a close ally of Rabat and a major donor.

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