Police in Argentina have shot a carrier pigeon that was delivering drugs to a jail, prison authorities say.

The bird was spotted flying into the grounds of the jail in the central city of Santa Rosa.

Officers discovered it was carrying a backpack containing sedative pills, marijuana and a USB drive, reports said.

The smuggling method had already been detected and was under investigation, Clarín newspaper reported.

It published a picture of the dead pigeon with a white backpack containing 44 pills of the sedative Rivotril, 7.5g (0.25 oz) of marijuana and the USB drive.

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The Argentine prisons service had warned in 2013 that traffickers were using pigeons making between 10 and 15 trips a day.

Three people were arrested and 15 pigeons were seized after the 2013 investigation, Clarín said.

Earlier this year a pigeon carrying a backpack containing 178 pills of the drug ketamine was apprehended in the Gulf state Kuwait near the border with Iraq

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