updated 2/14/2007 10:42:58 PM ET 2007-02-15T03:42:58

A Sea Knight helicopter that crashed last week northwest of Baghdad was shot down, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

The Marine CH-46 helicopter went down northwest of Baghdad, killing all seven people on board, and an al-Qaida-linked Sunni group claimed responsibility and aired a video.

But military officials initially said they did not believe it was downed by insurgents.

“Initial evidence indicated that the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter went down as a result of mechanical failure. After further investigation using all available means, the cause of the incident has been confirmed to be hostile fire,” said Maj. Jeff Pool, a spokesman for the Multi National Force — West.

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