At least 17 people have been killed – including children – after a military plane crashed into homes in Pakistan.

Neighbours were woken up when they heard an explosion and saw the wreckage of the burning aircraft, which crashed in a residential area on the outskirts of the city of Rawalpindi in Punjab province.

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Five soldiers – including two army pilots – and at least 12 civilians were killed.

The area has been cordoned off to search for investigative evidence
Image:
The area has been cordoned off as the cause of the crash is investigated

Authorities said the number of victims could rise as some of those injured were in a critical condition.

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Farooq Butt, an emergency services official, said a further 15 people were injured.

“Most of the victims received burn injuries and children are among the dead,” he said.

One resident, Mohammad Mustafa, said his sister, her husband and their three children were killed when the plane hit their home.

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He said rescuers and troops were quick to arrive, and army helicopters were seen hovering over the area.

At least three homes were badly damaged and the pilots’ bodies were recovered from the crash site, according to Abdul Rehman, a doctor at the scene.

The cause of the crash is being investigated. The military said the army aircraft was on a routine training flight at the time.

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