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Body found in wreckage of plane carrying football player Sala, investigators say

Written by Maritime First

…As US sends 3,750 more troops to Mexico border***

Investigators said on Monday they had found the wreckage of the missing aircraft carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala on the seabed near Guernsey and that a body was visible inside.

The 28-year-old Argentina-born forward had been en route from Nantes in western France with pilot David Ibbotson to make his debut for Welsh team Cardiff city.

The plane is believed to have crashed into the sea on Jan. 21

“The object is wreckage from the missing Piper Malibu aircraft,” Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said in a statement.

“Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage.

The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.”

The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search which began after two seat cushions were discovered on the French coast that likely belonged to the aircraft.

The AAIB said it had now concluded it was the missing Aircraft, issuing an underwater image of the crashed plane with part of its registration number – N264DB – clearly visible.

“The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage, including part of the aircraft registration,”.

“We intend to publish an interim report within one month of the accident occurring.” the AAIB said. 

In the meantime, the United States will send an additional 3,750 troops to its frontier with Mexico, the Pentagon said Sunday, as President Donald Trump doubled down on his call for a wall to boost border security.

Soldiers were originally deployed to the border under an order President Donald Trump gave before midterm elections in November as “caravans” of migrants made their way to the border to seek asylum from violence and poverty in their own countries.

But the mission, under which troops assist civilian border patrol agents by providing logistical support and installing concertina-wire fencing, has been described by opponents as a political stunt designed to create the illusion of a crisis.

“The Department of Defense will deploy approximately 3,750 additional US forces to provide the additional support to CBP (Customs and Border Protection) at the southwest border that Acting Secretary of Defense (Pat) Shanahan approved Jan. 11,” a statement said.

This additional deployment is for three months, the statement added, and will bring to 4,350 the total number of troops at the border.

Their tasks will include “a mobile surveillance capability through the end of September 2019, as well as the emplacement of approximately 150 miles of concertina wire between ports of entry.”

The news comes ahead of a February 15 deadline that President Donald Trump set for Congress to agree on funding for building a border wall which he made a key pledge in his election campaign.

The president says that existing sections of walls should be extended along the border to stop what he describes as an uncontrolled invasion of criminals.

Trump underscored these claims Sunday. “With Caravans marching through Mexico and toward our Country, Republicans must be prepared to do whatever is necessary for STRONG Border Security,” he tweeted.

“Dems do nothing. If there is no Wall, there is no Security. Human Trafficking, Drugs and Criminals of all dimensions – KEEP OUT!”

Democrats, who control the lower house, have repeatedly rejected Trump’s funding demands, saying that he has made the wall project a political crusade to demonize immigrants and to satisfy his base.

He previously tried to pressure Congress into backing his idea by refusing to sign off on budgets for swathes of the federal government, leading to a five-week shutdown of some 800,000 government jobs.

The border troop deployment was one of several issues on which Trump and former defense secretary Jim Mattis disagreed before he quit in December after Trump’s shock decision to pull troops from Syria.

Additional report from AFP

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Maritime First