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Pilots killed as helicopter goes down in Iraq

Two pilots died when a U.S. Army helicopter went down near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Friday while aiding Iraqi police who came under fire, officials said.
Crane removes wreckage of U.S. OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter in Mosul
A crane removes the wreckage of a U.S. OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter after it crashed in Mosul on Friday.Namir Noor-eldeen / Reuters
/ Source: news services

A U.S. Army reconnaissance helicopter went down near Mosul in northern Iraq on Friday while aiding Iraqi police who came under hostile fire, and its two pilots were killed, military officials said.

The OH-58D Kiowa, which is armed, was on a combat air patrol with another Kiowa when it went down.

“Two pilots were killed Friday when their OH-58D Kiowa helicopter went down in the city of Mosul. ... The aircrew members were recovered from the aircraft,” a military statement said.

Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said the causes of the crash were under investigation. Soldiers on the ground had said there was some firing in the area when it crashed.

Initial reports had said the pilots were alive but in serious condition.

The helicopter crashed near a group of mud huts in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad. There was wreckage strewn over most of the crash site.

“It was responding to small arms fire being taken by Iraqi police. The gunmen fled to a nearby mosque,” said Maj. Richard Greene.