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April 20, 2014

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Algeria: Plane crash recovery operations complete

Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | 2:31 a.m.

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The head of Algeria's civil defense says recovery operations for a military transport that crashed on Tuesday are complete despite the difficult conditions.

The C-130 transport crashed on Tuesday into Mount Fortas in eastern Algeria, about 300 miles (500 kilometers) from the capital, killing 77 people on board, including three women and a girl, according to the Defense Ministry.

The sole survivor is a 21-year-old soldier who is in a coma after sustaining head injuries.

Col. Mohammed Lehbiri told state radio Thursday that all the bodies were recovered at an altitude of 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) with snow on the ground.

When questioned over why civil defense had given a lower toll than the military with 76 dead, Lehbiri said it was "indecent" to quibble over numbers.