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4 Injured After US Helicopter Crashes South of Baghdad



05 April 2007

The U.S. military says one of its helicopters went down south of Baghdad, injuring four of the nine persons aboard. From Iraq's capital, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.

The U.S. military would not give the exact location of the crash, nor would it comment on reports that the helicopter had been shot down, saying the incident is under investigation.

"Today, south of Baghdad, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down," said U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver. "There were nine members on board, including the crew. Four were reported to be injured. Those four have been evacuated to a medical facility. The other five have been removed from the crash site as well, and the crash site is under investigation at this time."

This is the ninth U.S. military helicopter that has crashed this year.

In Baghdad, a car bomb exploded at a television station owned by the country's main Sunni Arab political party. Officials with the Iraqi Islamic Party said several guards were wounded in the midday attack.

Meanwhile, operations continued in support of the seven-week old Baghdad security plan.

A U.S. military official told VOA that a joint Iraqi-U.S. operation began Wednesday in western Baghdad's Mansour district.

Colonel J.B. Burton, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the First Infantry Division, said the mission is in support of the security plan and intends to clear insurgents from the Mansour area and improve essential services, such as water and electricity, to the population.

"We have put in place effects which deny extremists freedom of action throughout the area of responsibility," he said. "We have hardened checkpoints, and we continue to increase our Joint Security Station postures throughout the area of responsibility."

Separately, the U.S. military reported the deaths of five American troops since Tuesday. Roadside bomb blasts killed two soldiers south of Baghdad and two others in the capital on Wednesday. A fifth soldier was killed by small arms fire Tuesday in eastern Baghdad.

The British military also reported the deaths of four its troops, as well as a Kuwaiti interpreter, in an ambush in the southern city of Basra. The patrol hit a roadside bomb and was then hit by small arms fire early Thursday.



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