It now appears an Air Algerie flight that dropped off radar early Thursday morning, crashed in a remote area of Mali.
According to the airline, all 116 people on board, including one American are feared dead.
Ouagadougou Airport said in a statement that French forces stationed in the area detected the wreckage between Gao and the town of Kidal — a desert zone that is very difficult to access.
The remote location and security concerns mean it is unlikely that any medical help will get there within the day, the statement said.
Islamist militants have also been fighting the Malian government and French forces in the region for months.
This is the third major aviation disaster in a week, following the MH17 disaster in Ukraine and the TransAsia Airways crash in Taiwan Wednesday.
Nearly 250 people died in these two crashes. The week’s grim toll may now rise by 116 more.