He said a cargo plane carrying training mortal shells bought for Bangladesh Army and BGB under the purchase agreement of Directorate General Defense Purchase (DGDP) was crashed in Greece.

ISPR said there were no arms in the plane and the consignment was under insurance coverage.

AFP adds: Serbia's defence minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the Ukrainian-operated Antonov An-12 was carrying around 11 tonnes of weapons, particularly mines, to Bangladesh when it crashed on Saturday night.

"Sadly, according to the information we have received, the eight members of the crew died in the crash," Stefanovic told a news conference.

Videos shared on social media by eyewitnesses showed the plane engulfed by a giant fireball as it hit the ground.

Denys Bogdanovych, general director of Meridian, the Ukrainian cargo airline operating the plane, told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle the crew were all Ukrainian. He gave no information about the cargo.

The plane had taken off from Nis airport in Serbia at around 8:40 pm (1840 GMT) on Saturday, carrying "around 11 tonnes of military industry goods", namely mines, from private Serbian company Valir to the Bangladeshi defence ministry, Stefanovic said.

It had requested clearance to make an emergency landing at the airport in Kavala, northern Greece, but had not managed to reach it. Eyewitnesses said on Saturday they saw the aircraft on fire and heard explosions.

Video footage from a local channel showed signs of impact in a field and the aircraft in pieces scattered over a wide area.