French defence officials killed in mystery air crash

The scene of the crash early Monday morning

 LA VALLETTA -- An aircraft, designed for tourist flights, crashed and exploded Monday morning a little after take-off at 5.30 a.m. from the international airport of Malta, killing all on board -- three French security officials and two private contractors.

 Military services have been called to the scene of the crashed Fairchild Metroliner.

 The Maltese government confirmed that the flight was part of a French surveillance operation over the Mediterranean ocean lasting five months, with the aim of marking illegal traffic routes of every genre, from people to drugs, according to Malta Today.