ASTANA, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Twenty seven people were killed after an Antonov An-72 military plane crashed Tuesday near Shymkent, the administrative center of the Southern Kazakhstan region, the National Security Committee said.
Seven crew members and 20 servicemen were aboard the plane, including acting head of the border guards service Turganbek Stambekov, when the incident happened, according to a statement issued by the committee.
Local emergencies authorities told reporters the plane disappeared from the radar screens at about 5:00 p.m. Moscow time (1300 GMT) en route to Shymkent from the capital Astana. It crashed while making a descent near the city of Shymkent, according to local media report.
Rescuers and firefighters reached the scene later from a nearly city. An investigation into the incident was underway.
The plane was destroyed severely in the fire with only debris left, local media reported.
The plane reportedly belonged to the country's security service.