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The World

July 21, 1986

A Soviet-built MI-17 helicopter of the Nicaraguan air force crashed on takeoff near the country's Caribbean coast, killing 16 soldiers aboard, Interior Minister Tomas Borge said. One soldier survived the crash near the town of Bluefields in eastern Zelaya province, he said. Zelaya has been the scene of fighting between government troops and U.S.-backed Nicaraguan contras, but Borge did not indicate if there was any evidence that the rebels had fired on the Sandinistas' helicopter.

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