Peruvian Air Force Shoots Down Hydroplane, Leaving 2 Dead

A hydroplane crossing the Brazilian- Peruvian border without identifying itself was shot down Saturday by a fighter plane of the Peruvian Air Force (FAP), leaving two dead and three wounded, all of whom were U.S. citizens.

The incident took place on Friday at 10:05 a.m. (1505 GMT) above the locality of Pebas in the state of Loreto, yet it was made public on Friday night via a FAP press communique.

The note said the entry of the aircraft into Peruvian territory from Brazil was identified by the Air Space Control System, jointly operated with the U.S. within the framework of the drug- trafficking combat accord.

When the small plane was detected, a FAP 37B air watch plane was ordered to intercept the plane.

According to the communique, the pilot of the unidentified plane did not follow the normal international identification protocol, so the FAP plane "proceeded in the last moment to open fire to force it to land." The plane had been taken as a drug dealing aircraft.

The plane came down to the Amazon river in the locality of Pebas.

Monica Ronny Bowers, 35, and her foster daughter Charity, six months old, died in the action while Kevin Donaldson, the pilot, and his wife Barbara Donaldson as well as Monica's husband were wounded.

The crew and passengers of the plane were members of a Baptist congregation, who were carrying out evangelization duties in the Amazon region.

The FAP said a thorough investigation into the case will be carried out. Enditem

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