Kenyan army chief killed in chopper crash

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Nairobi, April 19 (AFP/APP):Kenya’s defence chief and nine other top brass died on Thursday in a military helicopter crash in a remote area of the country, President William Ruto said.

                  “Today at 2:20 pm, our nation suffered a tragic air accident… I am deeply saddened to announce the passing of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (CDF),” Ruto told reporters.

                  The president, who had convened an urgent meeting of the National Security Council after news of the accident emerged, said nine other “gallant military personnel” on board were also killed while two survived.

                  Ogolla, 61, a trained fighter pilot, had only been in the post for a year but was shortly due to mark 40 years of military service.

                  Ruto said the Kenya Air Force had dispatched an investigation team to establish the cause of the crash, which took place in Elgeyo Marakwet county, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.

                  Ogolla’s helicopter went down shortly after takeoff from the village of Chesegon, where he and his entourage had been visiting a school after making stops in other areas to see Kenyan troops and other sites.