Wednesday, July 28, 1999 Published at 21:27 GMT 22:27 UK
Missing US plane found
Colombia is supported by the US in its anti-drugs fight
The wreckage of a United States military plane with seven people on board, which was lost last week over rebel territory in Colombia, has been found.
There are no survivors.
The US soldiers on board were based at Fort Bliss army base in El Paso, Texas.
The Americans are the first US military personnel killed while fighting against the illegal drugs industry in Colombia, the world's No. 1 cocaine-producing nation.
The four-engine de Havilland was carrying five US military personnel and two Colombian Air Force officials on a routine anti-narcotics mission last Friday when it crashed into a mountain in southern Colombia.
The plane was broken into many small pieces and scattered over a wide area near the south-western border with Ecuador.
US Embassy spokesman Bob Schmidt said the bodies would be flown to Bogota, where forensic experts would try to identify them.
On Friday, the plane had been circling over rebel-held territory in Putumayo State, which in recent years has seen an explosion in the cultivation of coca - the raw material of cocaine.
The state is also a stronghold of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which earns huge profits from the drug trade.
The BBC Correspondent in Bogota, Jeremy McDermott, says the US has pledged further support for the Colombian anti-drug war as the country's rebels were now deeply involved in the drug trade, blurring the line between the struggle against drugs and the war against the guerrillas.
Colombia produces about 80% of the world's cocaine and an increasing amount of heroin. The US is the biggest market for both drugs.
The US supports the peace talks between President Andres Pastrana's government and the leftist rebels of FARC.
But the peace process recently collapsed and the government is now talking of a military solution to the guerrilla problem.