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Paraguay presidential candidate dies in helicopter crash

Published on Feb 4, 2013 6:05 AM
Rescue workers inspect the wreckage of the helicopter that was carrying Paraguayan presidential candidate for the UNASE party Lino Oviedo from the city of Concepcion to Asunion after a campaign rally, in Presidente Hayes province, Feb 3, 2013. Oviedo, who led a 1989 coup that overthrew dictator Alfredo Stroessner, died in a helicopter crash over the weekend. Police rescuers found his body on Sunday in the wreckage of a helicopter crash in northern Paraguay where he was traveling for a campaign event. He was 69. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

ASUNCION (AFP) - A controversial presidential candidate who helped topple Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner in 1989 has died in a helicopter crash, officials said Sunday, prompting claims of foul play.

Mr Lino Oviedo, 69, died with his bodyguard and pilot when the aircraft crashed en route to Asuncion while they were returning late Saturday from a campaign rally in northern Paraguay, the officials said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, though early indications suggest the helicopter was caught up in a storm before it plummeted and hit the ground at a cattle ranch.

"At this point, all hypotheses are open," said civil aviation director Carlos Fugarazzo, noting that foreign experts would be called in to investigate the crash.

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