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Five DEA Agents Killed in Crash in Peruvian Jungle

<i> Reuters</i>

Five special U.S. narcotics agents died when a drug reconnaissance flight crashed in Peru’s northeastern jungle, the Drug Enforcement Administration said Sunday.

DEA officials in Peru said that the wreckage was spotted by satellite Sunday afternoon near Puerto Pizana in the foothills of the Andes but that heavy rains in the area prevented rescue workers from reaching the site, about 250 miles north of Lima.

Rescue workers Sunday began hacking their way through the jungle but were halted by bad weather and nightfall, the DEA said.

Efforts to reach the wreckage will resume today, the DEA said.

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The names of the victims--a pilot and co-pilot from the U.S. base at Santa Lucia and three agents based in Lima--were not available late Sunday.

The agency twin-engine CASA transport left Santa Lucia on Saturday afternoon en route to the coca-producing Upper Huallaga Valley and was declared missing about 5 p.m., the DEA in Lima said.


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