Belarus `regrets' balloon attack

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The Independent Online
Belarus `regrets' balloon attack

Minsk - Belarus formally expressed regret that its military shot had down a sport balloon carrying two American pilots. Both pilots were killed when a helicopter gunship downed their hydrogen balloon during the prestigious Gordon Bennett international race on Tuesday. Race organisers in Wil, Switzerland, identified the men as Alan Fraenckel, 55, and John Stuart- Jervis, 68, of St Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. The Belarussians also forced down a second balloon piloted by two Americans, who were then taken away by police. The Belarus defence forces said that they fired on the balloon after "all efforts to establish contact had failed''. A

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