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April 21, 2005

Civilian Chopper Crashes in Iraq; 11 Killed, including 6 Blackwater Security Personnel

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

The six Americans on board were civilian contractors for Blackwater Security(link by Hyscience), a North Carolina-based contracting firm that provides security for the U.S. State Department.

- FoxNews
BAGHDAD, Iraq  -- Eleven people, including six Americans, were killed in a helicopter crash near Baghdad on Thursday. Hostile fire was suspected, and an investigation was under way, a U.S. Embassy spokesman in Baghdad said.

The Mi-8 helicopter (search) was contracted by the Defense Department; all aboard were killed, officials said. The crew comprised three Bulgarian civilians, the Defense Ministry in Sofia, Bulgaria, said.

Two Fijian guards were also on board, a spokesman for Skylink Aviation(link inserted by Hyscience), the company that chartered the helicopter, said.

Earlier, U.S. officials said they believed nine people were on board.

The Bulgarian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying the helicopter was struck by missile fire, but U.S. officials said that could not be confirmed pending an investigation.     

The chopper, which took off in Tikrit (search), went down about 12 miles north of its destination in Baghdad. Video on television showed burning wreckage scattered across a wide area.

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Posted by Hyscience at April 21, 2005 1:06 PM

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