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April 23, 2005

U.S. Detains Six in Iraq Copter Shooting (UPDATED)

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

This is really a continuation of the previous post on the downing of the civilian chopper that killed six Blackwater personnel.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military said Saturday it had detained six men suspected of shooting down a Russian-made helicopter carrying 11 civilians - including six Americans - north of Baghdad two days earlier. All 11 passengers and crew were killed, including one shot by insurgents.

An Iraqi civilian helped U.S. soldiers in Task Force Baghdad locate the suspects, who were apprehended at two houses Saturday afternoon, the military said in a statement. The military did not identify the suspects or specify where they were captured.

The Mi-8 helicopter was shot down about 12 miles north of Baghdad on Thursday. Two groups claimed responsibility for the attack and released video to back their claims.

The dead included six American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats, three Bulgarian crew members and two security guards from Fiji, officials said.

In one video, insurgents are seen capturing and shooting to death the lone survivor, identified as a Bulgarian pilot.

More ...

Update:
Foxnews is now reporting that ten insurgents were captured.

U.S. forces captured 10 men suspected in the downing of a civilian helicopter and the shooting death of the lone survivor pilot, U.S. Army Col. David Bishop told FOX News.

The suspects in the helicopter assault were captured after U.S. soldiers from Task Force Baghdad (search) were tipped off by Iraqi civilians who told the Americans he knew where insurgents had left a blue KIA pickup truck employed in the attack and led them to the location, the military said in a statement.

"We wouldn't have found these guys or the crash, for that matter, had it not been for Iraqi citizens coming forward and providing us with that information," said Bishop, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division.

The colonel added that a hotline has facilitated information-sharing between U.S. forces and Iraqi locals.

Read more ...

Posted by Hyscience at April 23, 2005 2:03 PM



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