Friday, May 27, 2005

U.S. military helicopter shot down in Iraq (again)

U.S. military helicopter shot down in Iraq
5/27/2005 10:30:00 AM GMT

The U.S. military uses the OH-58 Kiowa for surveillance missions

A U.S. military helicopter was shot down near the Iraqi city of Baquoba, the U.S. army said on Friday, adding that two soldiers died in the crash.

The military said that two armed U.S. reconnaissance helicopters were flying in support of combat operations near Baqouba, 60 km northeast of Baghdad, when they were hit by small arms fire.

It added that one copter crashed and the other managed to land safely at a nearby airbase.

"Two Task Force Liberty soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed near Baquba on May 26," the military statement said.

"Coalition forces responded to the scene and secured the site,” it added.

The Pentagon said that the crashed helicopter was an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, a one-engined, two-seater craft.

The attack came as about 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops continued their offensive against rebels in the western al-Anbar province in the city of Haditha.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials are investigating the killing of three Iraqis who were shot dead by U.S. soldiers after they opened fire at their vehicle in southeastern Baghdad on Thursday, military spokesman Master Sgt. Greg Kaufman said.

Kaufman claimed that U.S. forces shot at the van after its driver failed to respond to their warnings to stop the car.

Iraqi police Sgt. Najim Aboud said two of the slain Iraqis were brothers and that their mother was also in the vehicle.

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