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Last Updated: Monday, 15 August 2005, 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK
Three die in Panama terror drill
US sailors involved in Operation Panamax 2005
The US and other navies were also involved in the exercises
Three Panamanian sailors have drowned while taking part in international anti-terror exercises to test the defences of the Panama Canal.

They became entangled in underwater vegetation in a lake linked to the canal, according to the country's Maritime Authority.

Exercises involving some 3,500 sailors from countries across the Americas had been under way for 10 days.

About 13,000 ships travel through the 80km (50-mile) waterway each year.

Search parties were dispatched on Sunday after the three sailors went missing near Guacha Island.

The aim of the Panamax 2005 exercises was to tackle a hypothetical terror attack on the canal, which links the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Timeline: Panama
19 Aug 04 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Panama
02 Sep 04 |  Country profiles

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