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The Mideast

27 dead in Kazakhstan military plane crash

A Kazakhstan military plane has crashed near a southern city killing 27 people, mostly border guards.

The Central Asian country's Committee for National Security said the An-72 crashed Tuesday at 7:55 a.m. EST about 12 miles away from the city of Shymkent near the border with Uzbekistan.

It said in a web-posted statement that acting head of the ex-Soviet nation's border protection service Col. Turganbek Stambekov was aboard the plane. The fatalities included a crew of seven and 20 border guards.

Without specifying further details, it said that an investigation was opened into the crash.