SLUG: 2-312277 Iraq Unrest (L)
///// WATCH WIRES FOR NEW INFO AND UPDATE INTRO ACCORDINGLY /////
INTRO: An American Army helicopter has crashed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, about 360-kilometers north of Baghdad. V-O-A's Sonja Pace reports from Baghad it is not immediately clear what caused the crash and a search operation is underway for the crew.
TEXT: The aircraft carried a two-person crew. U-S military officials say the helicopter crashed while on a search and rescue mission for an American soldier missing in the Tigris river after his patrol boat capsized.
A military spokeswoman is quoted as saying that two Iraqi police officers and a translator also on the patrol boat are believed dead.
Earlier, a roadside bomb exploded near an American military patrol in Baghdad. There is no report of casualties.
Another American soldier died of wounds suffered when his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade late Saturday in the town of Beiji, north of Baghdad.
That brings to at least 10 the number of Americans and Iraqis killed in four attacks Saturday in central Iraq.
Saturday was a particularly bloody day for U-S troops in the so-called Sunni triangle, where most of the attacks against coalition forces and Iraqis cooperating with them have occurred.
/// OPT /// Earlier Saturday, car bombings in the towns of Khaldiya and Samarra left three American soldiers and four Iraqis dead. And, a roadside bombing aimed at a military convoy in Fallujah killed two U-S soldiers. /// END OPT ///
Security sweeps continue in central Iraq. A U-S military spokeswoman said soldiers raided several locations in Baqouba and detained dozens of men suspected in anti-coalition activities. She also said troops confiscated rifles and other weapons. (SIGNED)
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