CHANGES HEADLINE, ADDS REMARKS FROM INTERIOR MINISTER
By Cemal Asan
VAN, Turkey (AA) – Seven security personnel were martyred after their reconnaissance plane crashed in a mountain in Turkey's Van province, the country’s interior minister said early Thursday.
“Our teams have informed us that we have lost seven heroes, two of them are the pilots,” Suleyman Soylu told reporters in the eastern province.
The plane crashed at an altitude of 2,200 meters (7218 feet) on Mount Artos, Soylu added.
The aircraft took off from Van Ferit Melen Airport at 6.35 p.m. local time (1535GMT).
The 2015 model-plane was missioned for reconnaissance and surveillance in Van and Hakkari provinces since Monday, said Soylu.
He said the pilots contacted the tower for the last time when they were around Baskale district at 10.32 p.m. (1932GMT).
At around 10.45 p.m. (1945GMT), radar and communication were completely stopped, he added.
Soylu later arrived in the region where the plane crashed.