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US Helicopter Down in Iraq

07 February 2007

Another U.S. helicopter has gone down in Iraq.

The U.S. military confirmed the helicopter went down northwest of Baghdad. There is no word on casualties. And the military has not said if the helicopter was shot down.

Witnesses say the helicopter went down in a field in the Sheik Amir area and that smoke was seen rising from the scene.

Last week, the U.S. military confirmed that four helicopters had been shot down by insurgents in Iraq in recent weeks, killing more than 20 American servicemen and security contractors. The military said it was changing its tactics.

In other news, The New York Times newspaper says top U.S. military commanders have told President Bush that his new Iraq strategy is likely to fail without more civilian help in rebuilding the country.

The paper says senior military officers have warned that a military buildup alone can not solve Iraq's problems.

President Bush's new strategy calls for sending more than 21,000 additional troops to Iraq to bolster security, along with U.S. civilian teams to step up reconstruction and political development efforts.

On Tuesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered his military commanders to speed up preparations for a U.S.-backed crackdown to increase security in Baghdad.

About 90,000 troops - both Iraqis and Americans - are to move into Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods, where daily sectarian attacks have killed hundreds of civilians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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