Seven die as Ukraine plane crashes in Sahara: Algeria

Picture taken January 2, 2008 shows a view of the Tamanrasset desert, 2,000 kms south of Alfgeria's capital Algiers (AFP Photo/) (AFP/File)

Algiers (AFP) - A Ukrainian cargo plane crashed in the Sahara desert early on Saturday, killing all seven people on board, Algeria's transport ministry said.

The Antonov 12, which had come from Glasgow in Scotland and was bound for Equatorial Guinea, came down near Tamanrasset airport at around 2:40 am (0140 GMT), a ministry statement said.

"Unfortunately, rescue teams did not find any survivors at the scene of the crash," the statement added.

The aircraft had been transporting petroleum industry equipment.

It had made a stopover for unspecified technical reasons at Tamanrasset, an Algerian city deep in the Sahara 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) south of Algiers.

Previously, it had made another technical stop at Ghardaia, 600 kilometres south of the capital.

Rescuers found debris from the aircraft in a mountainous area, local officials said.

An inquiry into the crash has begun, Transport Minister Amar Ghoul said.