Poland begins week of mourning after Russian air crash

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Warsaw (Poland), Apr 11(ANI): A week of national mourning has begun in Poland following Saturday's plane crash in Russia, in which President Lech Kaczynski, his wife Maria and several other senior public figures were killed.

All 97 people on board were killed when the military plane from Warsaw crashed in thick fog while approaching Smolensk airport.

Tens of thousands of people, many in tears, turned out on the streets of Warsaw on Saturday, placing candles and flowers at the presidential palace, Sky News reports.

A two-minute silence will be held at noon local time on Sunday.

The Polish Foreign Ministry confirmed that along with the President and his wife, others on board included Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer, Army Chief Franciszek Gagor and National Bank President Slawomir Skrzypek.

Some 88 of the dead were members of a Polish state delegation, who were scheduled to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre in Katyn forest of 22,000 Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the crash was the most tragic event of the country's post-World War II history.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the head of a commission to investigate the crash. (ANI)

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