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Air Force Jet Fighter Crashes During Exercise

July 23, 1996

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ A Hawk 200 fighter jet crashed near its base today on an island off Borneo, but the pilot and co-pilot escaped with minor injuries, the Bernama news agency reported.

Also today, another Hawk had to abort a takeoff because of ``technical breakdown,″ Bernama quoted air force chief Lt. Gen. Abdul Ghani Aziz as saying. The pilots managed to stop the aircraft at the end of the runway.

The Hawks, among 28 that Malaysia purchased from Britain last year, were taking part in an exercise in Labuan, 860 miles east of the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The news agency said airplane had ``technical difficulties″ in the air and crashed into a gully. It gave no other details but said the air force was investigating.

Another Hawk crashed in a rice paddy near an air base in northwestern Malaysia last month and the pilot ejected safely. The government has not released details of that crash.

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