New inquiry in '86 crash killing Mozambique leader

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Associated Press

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 12 at 2:06 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police say they've opened a new investigation into the 1986 airplane crash that killed Mozambique's Marxist president, an incident that many have blamed the former apartheid government.

Capt. Paul Ramaloko of the South African Police Service told The Associated Press on Wednesday that investigators had begun a formal inquiry into the crash. Ramaloko said he could give no other details.

The crash killed Mozambican President Samora Machel and more than 30 others. At the time Mozambican authorities and neighboring nations blamed South Africa's apartheid government for assassinating Machel by luring the plane off course with a false radio beacon. A commission set up by South Africa blamed the crash on negligence by the flight's Soviet crewmen.

South Africa's The Times newspaper first reported about the new investigation.

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