Three-day mourning in Kenya after chopper crash

June 11th, 2012 - 5:00 am ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, June 11 (IANS) Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki has declared three-day national mourning which begins Monday onwards, following a helicopter crash near the capital Nairobi in which a minister, his deputy and four other officials were killed Sunday.

The country’s Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his deputy Orwa Ojode died in the tragic chopper crash which also killed two pilots and two of the minister’s bodyguards, Xinhua reported.

The six were headed to Ojode’s hometown for a fundraising service when their helicopter crashed in the morning in Kibiku area in Ngong forest on Nairobi’s outskirts.

The others who died included two pilots and two of the ministers’ bodyguards.

“During this period if national mourning the national flag will fly at half-mast,” Kibaki said in a statement issued late Sunday.

Former UN chief Kofi Annan, who is the chairman of the Africa Union Panel that mediated the country’s post election violence, expressed his shock and sadness over the helicopter crash.

“On behalf of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the bereaved families, the Government and people of Kenya at this very sad time,” he said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague also expressed his condolences at the death of two Kenyan ministers.

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