A Croatian airforce training aircraft has crashed in the south-west of the country and claimed the lives of two airforce members on board.

The Zlin single-engine aircraft crashed during a routine training flight. The aircraft burnt in a thinly-populated area near the central Adriatic town of Zadar Biljane, following the crash.

The cause of the crash remains unknown and is expected to be investigated.

This is a second accident that has occurred in three months. In January this year, a helicopter crashed and killed two pilots.

Following the accident, Croatia Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister Damir Krstičević announced his resignation.

As reported by the Associated Press, Krstičević said in a statement: “It is our duty to be with the [victims’] families and we will give them the best possible help. I extend my condolences to all members of the airforce and the Croatian Army.

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“This is a huge loss for the Croatian Army. Losing a Croatian soldier is very difficult. It is difficult for any defence minister and any Croatian Army commander.”

The plane is believed to have taken off from an airbase at Zadar.

In January this year, the US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) confirmed that a Bombardier E-11A aircraft crashed in Ghazni province. The aircraft was down at a Taliban-occupied territory in Afghanistan’s Deh Yak district in Ghazni province.

Initially, reports emerged saying that the plane belonged to Ariana Afghan Airlines but the company dismissed them and said that its aircraft were not involved.