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PLANE COLLISION KILLS 8 NEAR MOSCOW

A Russian passenger jet on a practice flight collided with a military plane and crashed near Moscow Friday, a news agency reported. All eight people aboard were reported killed.

The military plane, a Tu-22 strategic bomber, landed safely shortly after the accident, with pieces of the passenger jet still stuck to its body, ITAR-Tass said.The twin-engine Tu-134 went down northeast of the town of Yegoryevsky in the Moscow region, said Yekaterina Ageyeva, a spokeswoman for the Ministry for Emergency Situations.

Rescue crews found the eight bodies, she said.

Both planes were being operated by the Gromov aviation testing center, Ageyeva said.

The Tu-134 went into production in the Soviet Union in 1968 and continued to be built until the late 1980s.

More than a dozen crashes of civilian and military aircraft over the past 18 months have killed more than 500 people within the former Soviet Union.

At the request of Russian authorities, about a dozen officials from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration were to be in Russia this month to assess safety and suggest improvements.

The International Airline Passengers Association has recommended against flying anywhere in the Soviet Union.