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Rebels Say They Downed U.S. Plane

October 04, 2003|From Times Wire Services

Colombia's smaller rebel army said it shot down a U.S. State Department plane that crashed last month while fumigating cocaine-producing crops.

It was the first claim of responsibility in the Sept. 21 downing of the OV-10 plane in northeastern Colombia, in which the Costa Rican pilot died. Mario Alvarado was the sixth U.S. government contractor killed in Colombia this year.

The claim by the National Liberation Army was posted Friday on the insurgent group's Web site.

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