Wednesday, February 7, 2007
"BAGHDAD, Iraq - A Sea Knight helicopter crashed Wednesday in an insurgent stronghold northwest of Baghdad, killing all seven people on board, the military said, the fifth chopper lost in Iraq in just over two weeks.
A senior U.S. defense official said the helicopter did not appear to have been hit by hostile fire, but an Iraqi air force officer said it was downed by an anti-aircraft missile and an al-Qaida-linked Sunni group claimed responsibility for the downing.
The twin-rotor CH-46 went down about 20 miles northwest of the capital, said U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell. "A quick reaction force is on site and the investigation is going on as we speak," he told reporters in Baghdad.
The military said later that the Marine CH-46 helicopter went down in the volatile Anbar province while conducting routine operations and all seven crew members and passengers were killed in the crash."