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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi Police Find Explosive Device; Suspected Terrorists Detained

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2006 U.S. military officials in Iraq say four civilians were killed in a Jan. 7 helicopter crash along with eight U.S. military members aboard, a senior official said here today.

Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita told reporters that Multinational Force Iraq officials confirmed civilian passengers were aboard the UH-60 Black Hawk, which crashed in a remote area 12 kilometers east of Tal Afar, Iraq.

"They haven't ruled anything in or out as a possible cause," Di Rita said. "There have been, at least, preliminary indications that the weather wasn't great up there, but that's not been determined to be a cause.

"We'll just do our best to keep people appraised as the details become a little firmer," he said.

The fallen aircraft was part of a two-helicopter flight moving between bases in northern Iraq when communications were lost shortly before midnight, according to Multinational Force Iraq sources.

The crashed helicopter was located around noon Jan. 8. Flight records indicated that eight passengers and four crewmembers were aboard.

The incident is under investigation. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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