Nigeria’s army chief Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru died in a plane crash on Friday on an official visit to the northern state of Kaduna, which has had security challenges in recent months, three military sources said.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the army general and his aides died when the Beachcraft 350 air force plane crashed on Friday. There were eleven people on board the aircraft.
The air force said in a statement that its plane crashed near Kaduna airport and that it was investigating the immediate cause of the crash.
“An air crash involving a @NigAirForce aircraft occurred this evening near the Kaduna International Airport. The immediate cause of the crash is still being ascertained. More details to follow soon,” the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Edward Gabkwet, said in a statement on Twitter.
The crash comes three months after a small Nigerian air force passenger plane crashed just outside Abuja airport following alleged engine failure, killing all seven people on board.
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Attahiru alongside other military chiefs in January after years of mounting criticism over spreading violence by Islamist insurgents and armed gangs.