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American Forces Press Service

Helicopter Crash Claims Two Pilots; Enemy Fire Kills Soldier

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27, 2005 Two American pilots were killed Dec. 26 in a helicopter accident in western Baghdad, while another American servicemember died from wounds resulting from enemy fire during an operation in Khalidiyah, Iraq, military officials reported today.

No hostile fire was involved with the accident that killed the two Task Force Baghdad helicopter pilots, a Multinational Force Iraq statement said.

The U.S. soldier who was fatally wounded Khalidiyah was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). Several U.S. Army units are attached to the 2nd MEF during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The names of the dead are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other news from Iraq, soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, detained several suspects in a rocket attack in Baghdad Dec. 26. The soldiers were on a patrol when they stopped seven local men suspected of planning the rocket attack, in which four people were killed and 15 were wounded, earlier in the evening. Also on Dec. 26, Iraqi Army troops from the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, and coalition forces detained a man whom officials called "a person of interest" while on a coordinated raid in Ramadi. Coalition forces provided a cordon while dismounted Iraqi soldiers located and arrested the individual, who was on the battalion's target list.

Members of the 1st Brigade of the 6th Iraqi Army Division detained individuals with false passports in Baghdad Dec. 26. Four men driving in a car were stopped by the patrol, and it was discovered that they had two counterfeit Jordanian passports with them.

Coalition aircraft flew 38 close-air-support missions for Operation Iraqi Freedom on Dec. 26. U.S. Air Force F-16s destroyed an enemy position near Balad, using three precision-guided munitions.

U.S. Air Force F-15s provided close-air support to coalition troops in near Salman Pak. In addition, 13 U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Royal Air Force fighter aircraft performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

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