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Algeria's civil defence: recovery complete for military transport crash

The wreckage of an Algerian military transport plane which slammed into a mountain Tuesday in the country's rugged eastern region, is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The crash killed scores of people and left just one survivor, the defense ministry said. The plane was discovered in pieces on Mount Fortas near the town of Ain Kercha, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Constantine, the main city in eastern Algeria. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

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The wreckage of an Algerian military transport plane which slammed into a mountain Tuesday in the country's rugged eastern region, is pictured Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The crash killed scores of people and left just one survivor, the defense ministry said. The plane was discovered in pieces on Mount Fortas near the town of Ain Kercha, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Constantine, the main city in eastern Algeria. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

ALGIERS, Algeria - The head of Algeria's civil defence 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 kilometres) from the capital, killing 77 people on board, including three women and a girl, according to the Defence 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 metres (5,000 feet) with snow on the ground.

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

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