CARACAS: Venezuela's government says an air force jet has crashed while monitoring an illegal flight that had entered the country near the Colombian border.
The Defense Ministry says the Sukhoi-30 went down last night. It's not known if its two crew members survived or what caused the crash.
The ministry statement says the plane had detected an "illegal aircraft" that had entered Venezuelan airspace near the northwestern border with Colombia.
Drug traffickers frequently cross the border and the countries also are in the midst of a border crisis. Venezuela has closed parts of its border with Colombia and expelled more than 1,000 Colombians to combat widespread smuggling of goods that are subsidised at home.
Colombia accused Venezuelan aircraft of at least two incursions into its airspace over the weekend.