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American Forces Press Service

No Serious Injuries in Helo Crash; Troops Kill, Detain Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2007 – No one was seriously injured when a U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter went down near Baghdad today, military officials reported. Meanwhile, coalition forces killed seven terrorists and detained 13 others, and local citizens and Iraqi police denied an al Qaeda convoy entry into a village over the last two days in Iraq.

The helicopter went down today north of Baghdad while conducting operations. No serious injuries or fatalities occurred. Nine military personnel were on board, and all were evacuated successfully, officials said.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

In other developments, coalition forces killed seven terrorists and detained 13 others while performing raids today targeting al Qaeda terrorists and those supporting foreign fighters and car-bomb cells.

Intelligence reports indicated terrorists involved in foreign fighter facilitation and the manufacturing of car bombs were operating in Ramadi, Fallujah and Baqubah, officials said.

Coalition forces in an area northwest of Ramadi targeted a building believed to house terrorists involved with foreign fighter activities. Ground forces killed two armed terrorists who confronted them and refused to surrender..

Meanwhile, four more terrorists were attempting to flee the area. Coalition forces saw they were armed with AK-47s, hand grenades and vests containing magazines. After multiple failed attempts to get the terrorists to surrender, coalition forces killed the four terrorists.

Ground forces detained seven suspected terrorists at the site and destroyed the weapons and grenades. Also on the scene were 13 women and 26 children, none of whom were harmed during the raid.

During a raid south of Baqubah, three individuals fled the scene as coalition forces arrived. One individual was detained without incident; however, another individual lunged at ground forces.

Ground forces used what officials called “proper self-defense measures” and killed the terrorist. The third individual crossed the river and escaped. While investigating the scene, coalition forces discovered AK-47s, magazines, body armor and a suicide vest.

Coalition forces targeting terrorists involved with a foreign fighter facilitator network in Fallujah detained four suspected terrorists without incident.

Elsewhere, local citizens and Iraqi police denied an al Qaeda in Iraq convoy entry into Jumaylah, 60 kilometers west of Baghdad, yesterday, firing on the convoy and detonating a suicide truck bomb that injured one Iraqi police officer, one civilian and the bomber.

U.S. Army soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne), responded to the attack, where Iraqi police were already on the scene.

An Iraqi officer reported that terrorists seeking a safe haven within the town near Karmah had been threatening the citizens over the past several months. The citizens responded by forming a checkpoint within the town to deny al Qaeda any sanctuary.

At about 4 a.m., an Iraqi policeman attempted to stop a seven-vehicle convoy from entering the town. When the convoy continued, local civilians manning the checkpoint opened fire and one vehicle equipped as a car bomb exploded.

The injured Iraqi officer was medically evacuated to a coalition hospital. The civilian injured in the attack suffered minor injuries and was treated on the scene by coalition forces.

The driver of the vehicle used as a car bomb survived the incident and was transported by coalition forces to the Joint Coordination Center in Fallujah for questioning, where he was later identified as a Syrian national. Iraqi security forces and coalition forces are attempting to locate the remaining insurgents involved in the incident.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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