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Breaking: Saudia Airlines Airbus A330 Reportedly Destroyed After Sudanese Rebels Launch Attack On Khartoum

Breaking: Saudia Airlines Airbus A330 Reportedly Destroyed After Sudanese Rebels Launch Attack On Khartoum

An Airbus A330 aircraft operated by Saudia Airlines has reportedly been destroyed after Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) launched an attack on Khartoum International Airport and other key locations across the Sudanese capital on Saturday.

Grainy photos posted on social media that have not yet been independently verified show the Saudia Airlines aircraft on the airfield with the vertical stabilizer broken off and black smoke billowing out of the fuselage.

The BBC is reporting that at least two people have been killed after a shell hit a passenger aircraft at Khartoum Airport during the attack, although further details are yet to be confirmed.

The photos appear to show one of the evacuation slides on the widebody aircraft deployed, although witnesses claim all of the crew members are safe and well and are currently inside the airport terminal.

Other videos and photos from the airport show passengers cowering in terror after the heavily armed group launched the attack. Information from the scene remains patchy.

The aircraft that has been reportedly destroyed is just five and half years old and was delivered new to Saudia in 2017 (registration: HZ-AQ30). Saudia has configured the aircraft with a capacity of 330 passengers. At the list price, a new Airbus A330 aircraft can cost as much as $256 million.

HZ-AQ30 departed Riyadh just after 6 am on Saturday morning and arrived in Khartoum at around 8 am (local time). The plane was scheduled to depart an hour and a half later at 9.30 am, but the flight is now registered as ‘cancelled’.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Saudia Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s “deep concern over the state of escalation and military clashes between the army and rapid support forces”.

“The Kingdom called on the military component and all political leaders in Sudan to give priority to the language of dialogue, restraint and wisdom,” the statement continued.

A statement from Saudia read: “Saudia clarifies that its A330 aircraft, flight number SV458 was involved in an accident at Khartoum International Airport before taking off to Riyadh at 0730hrs UTC this morning, Saturday, April 15”.

“Saudia’s emergency team immediately responded, working alongside all relevant authorities, led by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Republic of Sudan, to obtain more information about this accident.

“All flights to and from Saudan have been suspended until further notice”.

In an updated statement, the airline confirmed that its A330 aircraft had been “exposed to gunfire damage” while passengers and crew were onboard the aircraft.

All of the crew members have been transported to the Saudi embassy in Sudan, and all flights between Saudi Arabia and Sudan have been cancelled until further notice

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