THE pilot of the plane that crashed outside of Ethiopia’s capital last week requested to return to the airport “in a panicky voice” shortly after take-off, it has been reported.

All 157 passengers on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight were killed after it crashed close to Addis Ababa on Sunday.

Yesterday’s report cites “a person who reviewed air traffic communications” from the flight saying controllers noticed the plane was moving up and down by hundreds of feet, with its speed appearing unusually fast.

An airline spokesman said the pilot was told he could return, but the crash occurred minutes later.

Many countries and airlines around the world have since grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.

French authorities now have the plane’s flight data and voice recorders for analysis, while in Ethiopia, officials have begun taking DNA samples from victims’ relatives to help identify the remains.

At the crash site in Hejere, about 30 miles from Addis Ababa, searchers continued to pick through the debris, while relatives and friends mourned the dead.

THE United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel attempting to look into or prosecute alleged abuses by US forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced.

“We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation,” Pompeo said.

But Human Rights Watch hit out at the news, saying: “Taking action against those who work for the ICC sends a clear message to torturers and murderers alike: Their crimes may continue unchecked.”

CROSS-BORDER fighting between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas group wound down yesterday amid reports of a truce.

Two rockets struck Tel Aviv late on Thursday, then overnight, Israeli warplanes hit 100 Hamas targets in Gaza.

In Gaza, officials said four people had been wounded, including a husband and wife in the southern town of Rafah.

The conflict came at a tense time, as Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the middle of a tight re-election battle.

US-BACKED forces in Syria pushing to defeat Daesh have been slowed by the presence of about 300 civilians and prisoners held by the extremists, officials have said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) campaign to uproot militants from the Euphrates River began in September, but has been halted several times since February 12 due to the discovery of civilians.

SDF says there are currently no negotiations under way to secure the prisoners’ release.