A US Air Force (USAF) F-15E Eagle warplane has crashed during allied operations in eastern Libya, near Benghazi, due to an alleged mechanical failure.

The F-15E aircraft was on an Operation Odyssey Dawn support mission, the joint coalition mission to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973 to protect the Libyan people.

Two airmen have been rescued with only minor injuries after ejecting from high altitudes.

US Military sources claim that the crash was due to equipment malfunction, rather than ground fire from Libyan Government forces.

The F-15E Strike Eagle is a two-seat fighter-bomber developed by McDonnell Douglas and Boeing as a variant of the air superiority fighter F-15 Eagle.

USAF B-2 bombers, as well as F-15 and F-16 fighters, are currently participating in operations over Libya.