A Moroccan military transport aircraft crashed on Tuesday in the south of the country, the official MAP news agency said.

It is yet not known how many passengers were on board the C-130 Hercules aircraft but MAP confirmed the accident took place in a mountainous area near Guelmim, just north of the disputed Western Sahara territory.

Citing unnamed sources, independent news portal Lakome.com first said at least 20 passengers aboard the plane had died, however the official Map News agency recently reported that at least 78 people died.

Three people were reported to have survived with severe injuries.

Morocco's most recent plane crash was in 1994 when all 44 passengers and crew members aboard a Royal Air Maroc aircraft died in a crash near the south-western city of Agadir.