At least 12 people died and 11 were injured Tuesday when a military airplane crashed in a central residential neighborhood in this capital, Yemen's official news agency Saba said.

The death toll, including three women and three children, could rise as rescue and recovery crews move through the zone and as the medical condition of the injured evolves.

On board the aircraft, which evidently crashed due to an unspecified technical failure, were the pilot and a companion, but - at present - it is not known if one or both of them are among the casualties.

The Russian-made Sukhoi plunged to earth near Al Taguir square, frequently the scene of protests, and a university campus, according to what Efe was able to ascertain.

After clipping a building as it came down, the plane struck an automobile head-on and then crashed into a second building.

Three parked vehicles in the area caught fire after the crash.

An air force official told Efe that the incident occurred while the plane was engaged in training exercises.

Similar incidents have taken place in the past near Sanaa, but this is the first time that an accident of this kind has occurred in the central portion of the capital. EFE