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Venezuela Downs 2 Illegal Planes

Following passage of new airspace law
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2013 8:50 AM CDT
Venezuela Downs 2 Illegal Planes
A Venezuelan military plane is unloaded at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(Newser) – Venezuela has shot down a pair of planes that entered its airspace without authorization over the weekend, the country's military says; they were allegedly carrying smuggled drugs. The attacks mark the first time planes have been shot down following the approval of a bill this month allowing the move, the BBC reports. A military leader says one plane was downed after "all other means of persuasion had been exhausted"; another was hit after reportedly trying to land illegally in the jungle. "These are drug-trafficking mafias which intend to use our country as a platform for drug distribution, trespassing our airspace," says an anti-drug official. (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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