Nigerian defense: Hope pilots alive in missing jet

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ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's Air Force chief says he hopes the pilots of a missing fighter jet are alive.

Two pilots and an Alpha jet have been missing since Friday when they left the northeast town of Yola on a bombing mission against Islamic extremists.

The pilots had contemplated ejecting from the aircraft, Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Adesola Amosun told reporters Monday.

Farmers in Adamawa state reported seeing a low-lying aircraft in the mountainous Gombi region making so much noise it drew villagers out of their homes before it crashed near a primary school.

The citizens have been helpful but did not have enough information for them to pinpoint the aircraft's location, said Amosun.

He ruled out sabotage though Boko Haram extremists are known to have captured anti-aircraft weapons from the military.

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