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MADRID (Reuters) - A military F18 fighter plane crashed on the outskirts of Madrid on Tuesday killing its pilot, the Spanish Defence Ministry said.

The accident at the Torrejon military base east of the city occurred during takeoff, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

Images in Spanish media showed plumes of smoke rising from the base's runway.

"As a result of the accident, which happened during takeoff manoeuvre, the plane's pilot has died," the ministry said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Carlos Ruano and Inmaculada Sanz; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Angus Berwick and Alison Williams)

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