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Pilatus aircraft possibly used in Darfur conflict

Swiss authorities are taking steps to clarify whether a Swiss-built Pilatus plane was used by Chad's air force in attacks on Darfur, Sudan.

A spokeswoman for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco) confirmed reports that her office, along with the foreign ministry, was investigating the claim.

“All channels will be activated to clarify exactly what happened,” she said.

It is not yet clear what type of aircraft may have been deployed and whether it took part in bombardments.

The Chadian government confirmed that it had bombed ex-army rebel positions in Darfur early Monday morning, using two helicopters and a light aircraft.

There was controversy in July 2006 over the approval of the sale of a Swiss-made Pilatus PC-9 plane to Chad.

The plane was certified as a civil aircraft to be used for training but it was adapted to carry weapons. Chad has two other PC-7 training aircraft.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR