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Polish President Lech Kaczynski killed in plane crash, 96 total dead

cross-posted from T-Time

Polish leader, wife and staff among dead, 96 total casualties in Russia jet crash

MOSCOW (AP) – Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country’s highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 96, officials said. Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the 26-year-old Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

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more: Polish president killed in plane crash: the conspiracy theorists will go crazy

Biography of Poland’s: Lech Kaczynski

UPDATE: Polish president’s body returns to Warsaw

AP Photo

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The body of President Lech Kaczynski was returned to Poland on Sunday, where it was greeted by grieving dignitaries and thousands of Poles lining the route from Warsaw’s airport to the presidential palace. The plane carrying Kaczynski’s body arrived from the airport in Smolensk, Russia, where he and 95 others had been heading Saturday to honor 22,000 Polish officers slain by the Soviet secret police in 1940 in the western Soviet Union.

Poles grieve over president killed in plane crash

AP Photo

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Poland’s government moved swiftly Sunday to show that it was staying on course after the deaths of its president and dozens of political, military and religious leaders, even as tens of thousands of Poles expressed their grief over the plane crash in Russia that shocked the country. New acting chiefs of the military were already in place and an interim director of the central bank was named Sunday, with work running as usual, said Pawel Gras, a government spokesman.

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