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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

CH-47 Chinook US goes down near air base west of Baghdad, military says (Updated: 5 troops dead)

BAGHDAD: A U.S. transport helicopter went down Tuesday near an air base west of Baghdad, the military said. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter was conducting a routine post-maintenance test flight when it went down near Taqaddum air base, said 1st Lt. Shawn Mercer, a Marine spokesman. He said emergency response crews had sealed off the site and the cause was being investigated. The e-mailed statement provided no information about how many people were on the helicopter or their status. The air base is about 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of Baghdad in restive Anbar province, a Sunni insurgent stronghold that has become calmer in recent months as tribal leaders have joined forces against al-Qaida in Iraq.
US helicopter crashes near Baghdad A US helicopter has gone down near an air base west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, military officials have confirmed. The CH-47 Chinook helicopter was conducting a maintenance test flight when it crashed near the Taqaddum air base, US marine spokesman Shawn Mercer revealed in a statement. He added that emergency response crew had sealed off the site of the crash, the cause of which is currently being investigated. It is not clear how many people were on board the helicopter when it crashed, or whether they were harmed in the incident. According to reports the Taqaddum air base is situated 45 miles west of Baghdad in Iraq's Anbar province, a stronghold for Sunni insurgents. However the area has become less volatile in recent months as a result of tribal leaders in the region joining forces against al-Qaida militants there. Today's crash comes after a US helicopter was compelled to make a forced landing south of Baghdad on Friday, during an early morning raid. US military chiefs said two soldiers were injured in the incident, which occurred around ten miles south of Baghdad in Yusifiyah, but said they did not yet know the cause of the crash. Elsewhere in Iraq today US forces launched a major operation against al-Qaida in the Diyala province. Over 16,000 personnel are engaged in Operation Lightning Hammer, which has already involved the use of attack helicopters, tanks and close-air support.
U.S. military: 5 troops killed when U.S. helicopter crashes near air base west of Baghdad Associated Press - August 14, 2007 3:23 PM ET BAGHDAD (AP) - The U.S. military says five American service members have been killed in a transport helicopter crash near an air base west of Baghdad. A Marine spokesman says the CH-47 Chinook helicopter was conducting a routine post-maintenance test flight when it went down about 45 miles west of the Iraqi capital in Anbar province. He says emergency response crews have sealed off the site and the cause is still under investigation. Anbar province has become calmer in recent months as tribal leaders have joined forces against al-Qaida in Iraq. Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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