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Greece blocks US air force manoeuvres over Aegean Sea
Sat May 27 2006 23:41:20 ET

Greece's defence ministry banned US military aircraft from carrying out training missions near the Greek island of Crete in the Aegean Sea, sources on both sides confirmed on Saturday.

The Greeks asked for the manoeuvres to stop because the US planes "broke aviation rules" by not informing the local authorities about the exercises in advance, an official from the ministry, who did not wish to be named, told AFP.

The decision came after a Greek and a Turkish fighter jet collided on Tuesday near the island of Karpathos, about 75 kilometres (50 miles) east of Crete, killing the Greek pilot.

Aegean airspace is the object of a dispute between Greece and Turkey.

Neither Athens nor Ankara accepted responsibility for the accident, with the Greeks accusing the Turkish fighter of flying into their airspace without warning and the Turks denying any such infringement.

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