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Civil protection agency spokesman Farouk Achour later told the AP that the "provisional" death toll from the crash on Wednesday is 181.

The cause of the crash remains unknown.

'There are more than 100 deaths.

The plane, Soviet-designed Ilyushin Il-76, was carrying scores of military troops, according to the local media reports.

Algeria's Defense Ministry said those killed included 247 passengers and 10 crew.

The military transport plane crashed into a field shortly after take off at Boufarik airport, southwest of Algiers. It was bound for a military base in Bechar in the south-west of the country, Achour said.

The plane was bound for Tindouf in southern Algeria, a region bordering the disputed territory of Western Sahara. It said most of the victims are soldiers and their relatives.

Algerian emergency services say 181 people have been killed in a military plane crash and some survivors have been rescued.

On February 11, 2014, a military transport plane carrying members of the Algerian armed forces and their relatives had crashed into a mountain killing 77 people.

According to an AFP photographer at the scene, thick black smoke rose from the wreckage of the plane which crashed in a field near the base.

It is the deadliest plane crash since Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, killing all 298 people on board. The military statement added that Gen. Gaid Salah, head of the army, had gone to the site and ordered an investigation into the crash. In recent decades, Algeria has bought military planes from both the US and Russian Federation.